Horse Stables and Art Guide the Look of This Modern Brick Abode

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By Michele Koh Morollo
In a Canadian forest, a brick gabled house features unexpected geometrically varied interiors.

After becoming inspired from the owner's love of horses and American minimalist paintings, Montreal–based firm Atelier Barda has revealed the Gauthier House—a beautiful brick residence near the the town of Mont-Tremblant. Before creating the 3,500-square-foot property, the team explored elements from European stables and horse-breeding centers to design the home's asymmetrical V-shaped layout.

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The owner—a ceramics artist—wanted to make the best of the topography of the lot, and also requested views of the site's nearby horse arena. 

The owner—a ceramics artist—wanted to make the best of the topography of the lot, and also requested views of the site's nearby horse arena. 

Given the simplicity of the house’s brick façade—a seven-foot brick base with a massive gabled roof on top—the complex spatial geometry of the interiors comes as a surprise to visitors.

Given the simplicity of the house’s brick façade—a seven-foot brick base with a massive gabled roof on top—the complex spatial geometry of the interiors comes as a surprise to visitors.

Tucked away in Quebec's Laurentian Mountains, the dwelling is flanked by the main road to the east, and by the owner’s horse farm to the west. 

A curved corridor with lowered ceilings serve as the threshold between the home's two wings. 

A curved corridor with lowered ceilings serve as the threshold between the home's two wings. 

"The forested berm between the road and house creates a visual filter, allowing a sequential progression toward the building. The volume is not visible from the main road below, but gradually emerges—culminating in the imposing facade of opaque brick with a single off-centered arch," explains Antonio Di Bacco, one of the firm's co-founders. 

Wide, low ceilings frame views toward the horse arena, while also creating visual tension between the interiors and the lush landscape outdoors.

Wide, low ceilings frame views toward the horse arena, while also creating visual tension between the interiors and the lush landscape outdoors.

The low ceilings create a sense of darkening and narrowing, which contrasts with the voluminous, bright main room at the end of the corridor. The results bring to mind the play of light and shadow in the owner's love for chiaroscuro paintings.  

The low ceilings create a sense of darkening and narrowing, which contrasts with the voluminous, bright main room at the end of the corridor. The results bring to mind the play of light and shadow in the owner's love for chiaroscuro paintings.  

"The various spaces are interconnected in such a way to create a perceptual narrative for users and visitors, who experience alternating sensations of compression and expansion," Di Bacco continues. "The sensorial presence of simple raw materials—brick, lime, oiled oak— helps to create a tranquil atmosphere." 

In the main living areas, two vertical veils divide the high, inclined ceilings, and also serve as partitions for the kitchen, dining room, and living room without completely separating the volumes. The living room is also connected to an outdoor gazebo.

In the main living areas, two vertical veils divide the high, inclined ceilings, and also serve as partitions for the kitchen, dining room, and living room without completely separating the volumes. The living room is also connected to an outdoor gazebo.

The bedrooms and the bathroom are located within the fold of the V-shaped section, and are separated from the common area by a dividing wall. 

The bedrooms and the bathroom are located within the fold of the V-shaped section, and are separated from the common area by a dividing wall. 

"The asymmetrical volume, enveloping form, chiaroscuro effect of the curved corridor, shadows, margins, thresholds, voids, and raw materials allow the unique atmosphere of the place to emerge without concealing the structural logic of the house," says Antonio Di Bacco of Atelier Barda.

"The asymmetrical volume, enveloping form, chiaroscuro effect of the curved corridor, shadows, margins, thresholds, voids, and raw materials allow the unique atmosphere of the place to emerge without concealing the structural logic of the house," says Antonio Di Bacco of Atelier Barda.

"The geometries converse with the impressive body of the existing farm, at the same time making their mark in the natural surroundings," notes Cécile Combelle, co-founder of the firm.   

"The geometries converse with the impressive body of the existing farm, at the same time making their mark in the natural surroundings," notes Cécile Combelle, co-founder of the firm.   

The inclined, faceted ceiling, light cannon in the ceramic studio, and vertical veils give the interiors a sculptural quality.

The inclined, faceted ceiling, light cannon in the ceramic studio, and vertical veils give the interiors a sculptural quality.

The V-shaped floor plan allows both wings to be connected. One wings features the garage and the owner’s ceramics studio, while the other contains the common areas.

The V-shaped floor plan allows both wings to be connected. One wings features the garage and the owner’s ceramics studio, while the other contains the common areas.

A "light cannon" illuminates the studio, while massive east-facing skylights point light toward the lime-covered vertical veils.

A "light cannon" illuminates the studio, while massive east-facing skylights point light toward the lime-covered vertical veils.

Horse Stables and Art Guide the Look of This Modern Brick Abode - Photo 13 of 13 -

Project Credits: 

Architecture and interior design: Atelier Barda 

Builder: Via Terra Concept 

Structural engineering: Latéral 

Hemp insulation and lime finishes: Art du Chanvre 

Custom furnishings: Atelier B