TBA | Berri Residence, Montreal, Canada

2022-05-19 0 By

Berri is a residence in Montreal, Canada, designed by TBA.The project is located on a short, narrow street in Montreal’s sought-after Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.This irregularly shaped lot was created by subdivision of a large property spanning two streets.The cadastral transaction left the new lot with a small side yard and boxed exterior space at the back.Interesting locations such as Berri’s, corner shops, auto repair shops and small industrial buildings scattered among traditional brick duplicates and three-story buildings make up the area’s rich architectural heritage.It earned the community protected status, as well as bylaws to preserve its architectural character and limit height increases.This led to the main challenge of the project: how to expand the footprint of the building while maintaining its character and very limited outdoor space.A new floating extension on the second floor protects this valuable outdoor space while adding additional breathing space needed by the young family.By stepping back and elevating the new volume, the additions will make the front and rear of the lot home to its existing two mature maples.The location preserves the tree’s significant presence in the streetscape and prevents damage to its roots, while creating a protected private garden below.The floating volume is covered by flat galvanized panels that reflect natural light into the garden below.Reflective materials give the extension a sense of lightness.Its flat details and modern geometry contrast sharply with the brickwork of the old building.It also reduces the visual impact of adjacent houses located in tight Spaces, showing an abstract palette of sky and leaves.Carefully placed openings give privacy to the living Spaces, while full-height Windows bring much-needed light into the house through open circulation Spaces.The carriage house was built in 1910 and has been renovated several times.The exterior of the existing structure was largely preserved, with its brick facades restored and Windows replaced.Inside, layers of intervention are removed.The new interior, stripped back into the original shell of the inn, aims to celebrate the natural quality of the utilitarian structure and the beauty of everyday architecture.Raw materials, rich textures and minimal details complement softer modern furniture and the family’s extensive art collection.Plywood plays the role of wallpaper (think William Morris meets Home Depot), steel mimics carpentry and gives the project an anachronistic quality, with medieval modernity and construction sites meeting in a stripse-down Victorian shell.At the entrance to the northwest corner, a new opening through the ground floor connects the three floors through an ultra-small and transparent staircase.It combines entry closets, circulation and sculptural effects.The transparency of the wireframe staircase is combined with sliding partitions to provide much-needed breathing space for the small footprint on the ground floor.Upstairs, the kitchen, dining room, office and staircase are organized around a central structural column, which is built into a powder room with fixed wardrobes, stereo equipment and a coffee station.The compact layout gives connectivity and visual privacy.Carefully placed Windows and existing skylights dot the space, bringing natural light and connection to the outside, ultimately providing an ever-changing natural counterpoint to the abstract art and photography on display in the house.