A Transformative Attic Renovation in Montreal

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By William Lamb
Removing a sloping ceiling adds five feet of headroom to this brightened live-work space.

Peeling back layers of construction dating to 1880, the architecture firm L. McComber ltée tackled this renovation of a Montreal attic to create a bright and inviting master suite and artist’s studio.

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The architecture firm L. McComber Itée demolished a sloping ceiling in this Montreal attic to create a bright, roomy live-work space.

During the demolition process, the architects found that a flat roof had been erected over a sloping roof, and that tearing out the lower ceiling gave them an additional five feet of headroom. They took advantage of the generous 13-foot ceiling height to add a ribbon window to part of the wall that had been hidden beneath the sloping ceiling, drawing additional light into the space.

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The renovated attic is oriented around a central volume that houses the bathroom. The wooden shelves were fashioned from hemlock planks that were salvaged during the demolition of the roof structure.

The renovated attic is oriented around a central volume that houses the bathroom and whose exterior is lined with wooden shelves that hug its corners. The shelves were fashioned from hemlock planks that were salvaged during the demolition of the roof structure, and their weathered, natural surfaces contrast with the whiteness of the rest of the space.

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The attic transformation was undertaken as part of a larger renovation of a house that dates to the late 19th century.

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The original brick walls were preserved and painted white.

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The master bathroom is lined with mosaic tile.

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The bedroom as seen through the bathroom door.

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