yh2 recently completed Dans l'Escarpement Residence, located in Domaine Valdurn, Saint-Faustin-Du-Lac-Carré, Canada. This light-filled house, an hour and a half from Montreal, is literally hanging from a cliff as its name, 'Dans l'Escarpement,' implies in French. It is located on land pertaining to an estate started over a hundred years ago and known for its remarkable landscapes and pristine lakes.
In spite of this highly desirable location, this particular piece of land had never been built due to its steep cliff. The clients commissioned the architects to design their house in such a way that it would blend in the hill and cause as little disruption as possible to its surroundings.
To keep the house's imprint on the ground to a minimum, the architects designed the house around two concrete 'boxes,' the first one, vertical, and the second one, horizontal. A totally glassed-in volume was anchored to both. The main entrance and the owners' private suite are on the upper level of the 3-story volume. One level down, one finds a small office/library area, adjacent to the kitchen dining area. The lowest level of this vertical 'box' features a sauna/spa facility.
The prevailing material used inside is mahogany, selected for its enduring qualities and for its rich hues. In the living-dining area, floors, ceilings, beams, window frames, and kitchen cabinets are all finished with this rich dark wood recalling the trees just beyond. With the light constantly shifting, interiors and exteriors seem to mesh. Keeping within the same color palette, Corten steel was introduced for the fireplace and for outdoor sheathing. Exposed concrete was used extensively on exterior walls; symbolically, it refers to the huge boulders, which are characteristic of the territory.
Photography: Maxime Brouillet