When a young carpenter with a modest budget wanted to build his first home, he turned to Atelier l’Abri for help with the design. The Montreal-based architecture firm responded with a modern and uncomplicated design for a cabin that recedes into its forested surroundings of Bolton in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The self-build project is l’Abri’s first built house design and is named Wood Duck in reference to the project’s use of timber for the structure, cladding, and interior finishes.



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The architects kept the design of the Wood Duck as simple as possible to accommodate the client’s tight budget. To make the most of its compact footprint, the boxy home faces south to overlook the valley with views of the ski slopes of Mount Glen and river below. Three large windows on the south facade take advantage of these vistas and their size help blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors, visually expanding the home’s small footprint. Hemlock spruce, a cost-effective and rugged material, clads the exterior and helps the cabin blend into its surroundings.

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The home is square in plan and spans two floors. Entered from an east door, the Wood Duck’s ground floor features the open-plan and double-height living room, dining area, and kitchen in the south, while the service-oriented rooms, like the laundry and mudroom, are tucked away in the north. The open-plan living areas are bathed in natural light and overlook the landscape and an outdoor deck. The master bedroom, secondary bedroom, office, and shared bathroom are located upstairs.

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Via ArchDaily

Images via Atelier l’Abri, © Jack Jérôme, Alexandre Desourdy, Jean-Christophe Laniel