Bourgeois / Lechasseur Architects recently remodeled a ground floor apartment in a building dating back to 1924, located in Quebec City's Montcalm neighbourhood. The clients, a young family, decided to convert the ground floor into their main residence.
The space was remodeled to make it airy, bright and more functional. The living areas are spread out through a large linear area crossing the building from east to west. During the demolition work, a brick common wall was seen as an element of interest to be kept and enhanced. At the other extremity, a wall of original wooden boards was also kept to provide a touch of warmth to the bedrooms. This wood was also reused for the washroom counter. The floor in this room is covered with a panel of varnished concrete.
The walls are covered in large, shiny, white ceramic tiles. This combination of materials gives the small washroom a peaceful, timeless feel, and is very elegant. A concrete panel is also used for the hall floor.
An opalescent glass strip in the floor creates the threshold at the entrance. A few of the mouldings around the doors were retained as a reminder of the neighbourhood's colonial character. Natural birch flooring was installed to recall the original floor that could not be preserved. Steel elements were added to free up space and open up the rear façade.
Steel, brick and wood are exposed and left natural, to provide colour. A projector screen is recessed into the living room ceiling. At the other end, an aluminum window gives a sense of depth toward the outdoors, making the area look larger.
The kitchen layout is very simple. While the glossy white MDF and quartz countertops are not imposing, they softly reflect the light, allowing the other raw materials to stand out. The new patio is used as a semi-enclosed inner yard. A fence with an openwork design provides some privacy while filtering the noise from the alley. The precision of each room, the meticulous design details and the new outdoor area create a very comfortable urban environment for this Québec City family.
Photos: Adrien Williams