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© Maxime Brouillet


Architecture: Maurice Martel Area: 1 600 sq.ft. Photo credit: Maxime Brouillet Construction: Kitchen: Hauteur d'Homme Windows: Shalwin Site: Gatineau


Built with prefabricated walls, as part of a model house project, Butternut is a single-storey house that explores living as a game of volumes that balances openness and intimacy.

With the constraint of the dimensions of the structural insulated panels (SIP), the project represented a great challenge of construction and creativity for the architect. In order to break the standardization effect of prefabrication, the residence unfolds through four volumes that play with the heights, and whose layout offers a rich journey offering multiple views and atmospheres.

A volume balanced between openness and intimacy
The lot, typical of a suburban home layout, did not offer much privacy. To preserve proximity with neighbours, the architect favored an installation in the form of an enclosure from which a naturally protected interior courtyard emerges. The strategic placement of a few perimeter walls around the residence strikes a harmonious note with intimacy by enabling entry of abundant light through large windows, where vis-à-vis views with the neighbourhood are avoided.

Inside, neutral colors and raw materials set the tone of a warm and simple architecture. The details are worked with finesse, as evidenced by the joints between the walls and the ceiling, as well as those between the plywood panels drawing fine slits. This lined language creates a discreet and elegant frame.

The kitchen, designed in collaboration with “À Hauteur d’Homme”, is placed in the heart of the house, like a necessary passage providing access to the other rooms. Pleasant and compact, like the residence itself, it opens onto the interior courtyard.

Located in the highest volume, the monumental experience offered by the bathroom is further amplified by its doors and walk-in curtain.