An urban densification project built on a through lot in the heart of Montreal's Little Italy district
The project by yh2 takes advantage of the uniqueness of the lot, accessible by two streets. It is built in place of a parking lot accessible from rue Henri-Julien, and the townhouse completes the construction of an existing sixplex on Drolet Street. The whole, organized around a central courtyard, creates a two-headed multiplex, a new typology for this atypical lot. The project is defined by the meeting of two building bodies, a suspended brick volume crossed by a vertical block of wood and glass. The fragmentation of the project allows its integration into a disjointed urban context.
A floating brick volume, the main body of the building, takes up the simple geometry of the surrounding buildings. The ocher brick facing on the front facade is like a weaving interspersed with black lines attached to the frame. Fine framing the facade on the street, the side walls of black brick unfold in a vertical apparatus. The brick envelope is dematerialized on the courtyard, and the rear facade opens onto the trees in the heart of the block.
At the same time, the base, on which the body of the main building is based, but also the crowning of the building, the curved volume of glass and wood pierces the mass of brick. This vertical extrusion accompanies the ascent inside the different levels of the house. Non-traditional distribution of uses on the different levels, the bedrooms are organized on the second floor, which is naturally less bright. In contrast, the living rooms are located on the third floor, bathed in sunlight thanks to abundant windows to the outside. Entirely open to each other, the variations in ceiling heights delimit the uses. The glass extrusion reappears here as a skylight in the double height, expanding the space towards the sky. The staircase providing access to the roof terrace is integrated into it, and views of the city are revealed as you climb.
Through architecture comprised of simple volumes in adequacy with its context, this project stands out as a work of the materials and their implementation. It then becomes an expressive architecture whose meticulous details and variety of textures are 'Ariane's thread'.
yh2 is a Montreal architecture firm founded in 1994 by architects Marie-Claude Hamelin and Loukas Yiacouvakis. For yh2, architecture is the art of place-making. It is a creative and transformative tool, and a way to reinvent reality. Led by its two founding partners, the team dedicates its full attention to a selection of projects that have received numerous awards throughout the years.