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© Felix Michaud


Creator/architect: APPAREIL Architecture in collaboration with Catherine Gauthier General contractor: GCT Construction Ceramist: Marie‐Ève Dompierre Photographer: Félix Michaud


Catherine Gauthier An architect, called upon APPAREIL Architecture to design the extension and renovation of her home in Verdun. Being an architect herself, the project was conceptualized through association and communication among all parties.

The concept imagined by the association developed around the theme of duality, recreating the existing volume through a “sister house”, or Maison Soeur, that sets out through its clean signature. The residence is a veterans’ home, common dwelling of Montreal’s 1950s working-class neighbourhoods, it was imperative to honor its architectural heritage. The stakes consisted in emphasizing the volume characteristic to this type of building, while providing it a second life that better answered to the new owners’ need for space. The extension thus displays itself as a reinterpretation of the prevailing structure, through its silhouette and its physicality. The roof’s double-sloped archetype is duplicated, as is its masonry envelope.

In the later extension, openings and luminosity are accentuated by large windows. The layouts of the interior spaces are distinct, favoring connexions between the indoor and outdoor spaces. The layout ensures copious light throughout the interior spaces, whose pale hues contrast with the dark brick of the newly designed facades.

Pragmatic, the plan expands liveable spaces by minimising traffic and favoring interplays of transparency that build up the linkage between interior and exterior. Between the new and old  volumes, a glass and grating footbridge subtly highlights the transition between the two eras. At the heart of the expansion, the kitchen stands out by its luminosity and its direct rapport with a large adjacent garden.

This project was designed to suit to various construction curbs, all while continuing a strong difference between the volumes and an ample entry of light. Created from a collaborative process, the Maison Soeur preserves its recent heritage through a solemn and realistic architecture.