Canadian architecture firm Naturehumaine was tasked with making a two story duplex into a single story home for a family of four in Montreal. They managed to do this while retaining natural daylight throughout and making sure that the new space flows well. In the process of their renovation, the team also exposed and featured some of the home's original wooden structure and added new contemporary materials to give it a modern look that brightens up the entire neighborhood.
Bringing light into the core of this narrow home was important to the project. So Naturehumaine added a skylight to draw light into the second floor of house and supplemented it with a glass floor so that the daylight could reach all the way to the ground floor. The glass floor also provides a visual connection to the second floor, adding a kind of openness and spaciousness to the small home.
In a nod to the home’s history, Naturehumaine kept the original wooden structural beams and boards and used them to create a beautiful and warm wooden wall as a backdrop to the staircase. They also used some of the beams as a decorative element in the void of the skylight. “Back when this building was built, structural walls were built out of interlocking pieces of solid wood, similar to a log cabin, but with flat faces,” says architect Stéphane Rasselet, “we like to expose these walls like you would expose an existing brick wall.”
The interior of the house was completely revamped to assist with the flow of a single-family house. The ground floor entrance opens up into the living room with the kitchen and dining area behind it, and a new family room in the rear opens out into a terrace and garden in the back. On the second floor, two bedrooms overlook the street and a new master bedroom was added in the rear of the house. To add a modern flair to the exterior of the home, the rear facade was replaced with a patterned surface of bright yellow and green panels.