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© Adrien Williams


Official name of the project: Chalet La petite soeur Location: Saint-Donat, Quebec, Canada Budget: withheld Project end date: 2018 Area: 1,400sq ft (130m2) Client: withheld Architects: Maxime-Alexis Frappier, Patrick Morand, Yoanna Anastassova, Kassandra Bonneville, Mireille Létourneau, Romilda Reda Project manager: Patrick Morand Collaborators: Étienne Hotte Photographer: Adrien Williams


On the vast Lac Ouareau, located near the town of Saint-Donat, sits a charming traditional house surrounded by birch trees. The owners, a dynamic stepfamily, commissioned ACDF to design for their many children a larger area to play and relax. In order to make sure everyone in the family can find a peaceful corner when spending time together, the architects created an addition that mirrors the original building’s dimensions. The extension preserves and pays tribute to the historic house while reflecting the beauty of the landscape it inhabits.

The new space – a white prism standing on a concrete pedestal – appears like a refined version of the existing house. Through this contrasting effect, the extension maintains a connection to the original building and its location. The sheet metal roof and wood cladding resemble the smooth and shiny bark of birch trees growing on the site; its hues and textures also recall the whitewashed walls of countryside barns.

On the ground floor, an open-plan space and large windows allow spectacular views on the lake. Polished concrete floors and natural wood details are used with simplicity, emphasizing the materials’ richness. Surrounded by black slatted wood, the central fireplace creates a relaxing ambience and an oasis of comfort in the vast living room. Built-in benches offer private spaces in common areas and cleverly include hidden storage. The living room and its gaming table encourage the children to make the space their own, providing playful and relaxing family time.

The architects designed the new master bedroom at the lower level. Nested in a cliff, the room benefits from the descending topography of the site and receives plenty of sunlight.