Award of Excellence in Architecture awarded by the O.A.Q.

A cottage to escape in nature is even more pleasant when its roof is pretty! On April 5, 2019, the Ordre des architectes du Québec presented its architectural excellence awards and two finalist projects drew our attention. Beautiful cottages that make you want to stay much longer than a weekend...

The Fraternelle by Pierre Thibault

Two Montreal families chose Petite-Rivière-St-François in Charlevoix to build their chalet to enjoy the Massif Mountain and the view of the St. Lawrence River. A double chalet, called "The Fraternelle", directed by Pierre Thibault consists of two units designed for two brothers and their respective families are connected by the ground garden. Two volumes with rather small front facades do not suggest any spaces that flow into the void with overhangs of 12 feet, 300 metres above the river. In order to optimize the views, the houses are offset and not parallel, thus offering several different perspectives. One sees the day rise, while the other enjoys the sunset. This project becomes a place of contemplation, no matter what room you are in. The beautiful mosquito net room, signature of the architect, with a fireplace allows to be outside while being inside. Ingenious.

Each house is self-contained with three bedrooms, two of which are on the ground floor adjoining a living room that can open onto the other house. The common terrace on the ground floor becomes an outdoor gathering place to contemplate the beauty of this Quebec landscape. The kitchen and built-in furniture such as tables, beds, benches were designed by Atelier Pierre Thibault, and made by the cabinetmaker Yacha Savoie. This integration as well as the choice of materials and colours create a harmony that can only inspire well-being once you set foot there.

On snowshoes, the owners had surveyed the site to find the best location to build. Indeed, the architect confirms this choice and is inspired to insert what will become a double cottage maximizing the view, in every respect! An impression that the project was gently dropped in the existing nature, force the architect to integrate his projects to the landscape. From planning to complete construction, the adventure lasted three years. A stunning result!

Finalist for the 2019 Audience Award
Project: The Fraternal
Location: Petite-Riviere-St-Francois, Quebec, Canada
Design Team: Atelier Pierre Thibault
Photo credits: Maxime Brouillet

The Binocle of Human Nature

Built on a rocky cape on a rough concrete foundation, two binocular volumes stand out, overlooking a breathtaking landscape of the Eastern Townships mountains. This chalet inspires contemplation inviting to calm and relaxation. Perfect for disconnecting from hectic urban life.

The Montréal architecture firm Nature Humaine has already designed several projects, all more interesting than the others, having in mind that any project, big or small, always has potential to be extraordinary.

For this cottage, an idea emerges so that each volume gives this impression of integrating into the nature while advancing towards the top of the trees. The entrance vestibule becomes a suspended unit connecting the two modules. The first gives way to living areas, the second, it offers two bedrooms while keeping this panoramic view giving the impression of being alone in this dense forest.

Note the extension of the roofs above the large south-facing windows serves as an awning to reduce the sun's contribution to the arrival of sunny days. Lots of light and natural warmth invite you to this beautiful chalet on the mountainside. The finished concrete floor over the entire interior area is reminiscent of the exterior floor where the two modules rest. Its untreated burnt wood cladding and prevented hemlock planks blend beautifully with nature.

This minimalist and timeless project have something to please and dream!

Finalist for the 2019 Audience Award
Project: The Binocle
Location: Eastern Townships, Estrie, Quebec, Canada
Area: 888 square feet
Design Team: Human Nature Architect

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