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.
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.
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.
Will Lamb is a writer and editor based in Jersey City, New Jersey. He served as a senior editor at Dwell from 2013 to 2015.