located a few steps away from square saint-louis in montreal, ‘la doyenne’ by naturehumaine is a renovation and expansion project of a victorian house built in 1887. the canadian architecture studio has added an aluminum-clad extension in the backyard of the house, which preserves the occupants’ privacy from the high-density surroundings. multiple floor level variations define the home’s interior, which is conceived as a continuous space complete with a palette of both noble materials, such as the oak floors and wooden furniture, and raw ones, like the stainless-steel countertops.all images by raphaël thibodeau
naturehumaine’s ‘la doyenne’ is situated in a high-density built environment characteristic of the plateau mont royal, which posed a challenge on how to preserve the privacy of its occupants while incorporating an extension in the backyard. the solution is an aluminum-clad volume, whose envelope integrates several devices aimed at preserving privacy while allowing light to enter. the steel blades in front of the bedroom window as well as solid steel panels on the side windows reduce lateral views, while skylights and stairwells let zenithal light inside the home’s heart.
one enters the house through the living room, located half a level above the street, to reach the backyard, slightly recessed into the garden. this intervention aims to create a height offset in relation to the level of the neighboring terraces while reinforcing the verticality of the interior volumes. as such, the dining room and kitchen appear as double-height spaces.
‘”the doyenne” capitalizes on the density of its surroundings to unveil a project that is intimately integrated into its environment,’ notes naturehumaine. ‘spread over four levels, its interior spatiality is a continuous space accentuating the interaction between the parts of the house.’
the centerpiece inside the house is a majestic staircase at the entrance, which has been preserved and restored. two more staircases have been added: one that connects the living room to the dining room; and a second, an helicoidal staircase that leads to the roof terrace. both are united by their imperial green tone inspired by the history of the building.