An aging chalet in Canada that was facing demolition has been completely turned around thanks to a stunning renovation led by Montreal-based design studio Alain Carle Architecte. Originally built in the 1960s, the Maribou Residence features midcentury Scandinavian architectural influences—no doubt inspired by the rise of Alvar Aalto’s reputation during that time period. Enamored with the home’s history, the clients wanted to conserve the home’s original character while modernizing its appearance.

view of house exterior

arched doorway

When Alain Carle Architecte was approached for the project, the rural house had fallen into a serious state of disrepair, with several insulation and structural problems. The clients, who saw the renovation as their retirement project, sought to completely restore the home as well as the original Scandinavian-inspired design that had been obscured by past renovations.

living room

look at the kitchen island

In addition to renovating and reinforcing the building envelope, the architects replaced the former flat roof with a pitched roof to emphasize the “Scandinavian essence” and to comply with local by-laws that required a pitched roofline. Another major change was the reconfiguration of the main entrance, which was relocated from the first floor to the ground floor for a shorter distance from the parking pad. The interior features a minimalist redesign with mostly white walls paired with pale timber floors and colorful furnishings.

kitchen view


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“For the interior, the strong elements represented by the big stone wall and the singular railing were conserved in their entirety and restored to context in a more contemporary composition,” adds Alain Carle Architecte. “The new volumetry, freeing more space in the master bedroom, will allow the addition of new fenestration opening on the landscape. On the main floor, new openings will also be made to finally give a view of the rocky landscape from the kitchen. The residence, which previously had a ‘back room’ exclusively orientated to the distant view, will then offer a multitude of framings of different landscape scales.”

+ Alain Carle Architecte

Images via Raphael Thibodeau