A beautiful example of how renovation projects can blend two time periods seamlessly, the Hotel-de-Ville residence in Montreal, Canada is the result of a modern facelift on a 100-year-old home, designed with special consideration for the large rooted tree behind the house. Architecture Microclimat found the solution to what otherwise might have been a tough decision for the homeowners. In what the architects call a “low-impact intervention,” the backyard addition stretches the home’s square footage without interfering with the tree’s survival.
Located in Plateau Mont-Royal, the 1700-square-foot home expansion project was designed with primary consideration to preserving the large poplar rooted in the backyard. The addition would have to maintain respect for the centurion home’s original character while maximizing the space between the existing exterior wall and the root system of the enormous tree, which wasn’t much. It was a tall order, so Microclimat served up a tall solution. The three-level addition rises over the rear garden with two stories of picture windows, forging a strong connection between life inside the home and the world outside.
The new space was integrated into the older part of the home through two new large openings in the existing brick wall. A light steel staircase serves as a filter between the interior and exterior spaces, balancing the new square-footage without sacrificing the home’s cozy feel. The addition creates two sunrooms near the new wooden windows provide a relaxing retreat overlooking the charming backyard and that sprawling poplar. The stairs lead to a mezzanine level, which houses the master bedroom and offers direct access to a new rooftop terrace.
In the midst of the city, such connecting with nature can be a challenge. It’s impressive that Microclimat could create such a light, airy design without infringing on the tall poplar tree, especially considering many homeowners would have simply cut it down.
Images via Adrien Williams