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© Félix Michaud


Location: Montréal, Canada Designers: Appareil Architecture Contractor: Paquet Construction Cabinet maker: Kastella Photographer: Félix Michaud


With the Phénix House, APPAREIL Architecture adds its signature to a bright and harmonious space, where the path unfolds in softness. With attention to even the smallest of details, the renovation of this Montreal duplex manages to make different styles cohabitate, creating a project in the likeness of its clients.

Following a fire, the owners wished to refurbish their 2600 square foot residence in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood. On the program: opening up the ground floor space, optimizing the openings onto the back garden, maximizing natural light, and furbishing the basement and second floor to respond to the family’s needs.

Contrasting spaces
The project’s identity was inspired by the mingling of cultures between this couple of European and Asian heritage. The home finds a balance between a blend of influences, styles, and materials.

The kitchen was bespoke to respond to the clients’ desire to have a professional, bullet-proof kitchen, that could host and respond to the whole family’s needs. At its heart, an enormous island renders the space functional and full of character. Made of stainless steel, it contributes to an industrial aesthetic that contrasts with the white and the residential wood surrounding it, bringing a balance between a cold and a warmer physicality to the space. With the aim of creating a friendly and bright space, the opening onto the back garden has been highlighted.

A sequenced path
On the ground floor, if all the spaces are open onto one another, they are discovered as you progress through the path. Wood-paneled screens of Japanese influence punctuate the sequences and create rich sub-spaces that simultaneously dissimulate and reveal. The spaces between the wooden slats and the floor’s grating contribute to the home’s light play.

The central staircase plays an important role: it is the link between the spaces. While segmenting the kitchen and the living room without completely sealing them off, it creates a connection between the levels and adds movement. It was left open to allow the light from the light shaft to cut across all levels down to the basement. Its steel, wood, and glass materiality bring clarity to space while reinforcing the connection between the different rooms.