When a lucky couple were selected in a government lottery to purchase land at Lake Poisson Blanc for approximately $70,000, they jumped at the opportunity—never mind that the remote site was a roughly three-hour drive from their home in Montreal.
Determined to realize their dream of a design-forward getaway, despite the remote location and a limited budget, the couple enlisted the help of Montreal-based Naturehumaine Architects to create a small yet stylish site-specific home for their family of four that embraces the beautiful landscape.
"Since budget was a concern, we opted for a very compact scheme and decided to base it on a perfect square for the most efficient use of materials," says principal architect Stéphane Rasselet. "This compact concept also meant economical energy use for heating in harsh winters. In the end, we ended up with a pure and somewhat abstract white volume characterized by a series of vertical slits for windows and doors all blending harmoniously within an immaculate winter blanket of snow."
To reduce costs and minimize landscape impact, the architects let the site’s steep terrain dictate the design of the 1,250-square-foot Poisson Blanc holiday home, which is embedded into the slope.
The half-sunken lower level comprises two bedrooms for the clients’ children, a play room, a bathroom, a laundry room, and mechanical equipment. The master bedroom and main living spaces are located on the upper floor.
The architects’ site-specific design and palette of simple and affordable materials successfully kept costs in check. The home was completed over the course of two years at a cost of around $200 per square foot.
Shop the Look
"The biggest challenge was finding a general contractor for such a remote area with the skills to build a house with non-standard features—such as floor-to-ceiling windows, and the alignments between different elements like the built-in furniture and Gyproc details," explains Rasselet.
"The distance was also a concern with respect to site visits, which we kept to a minimum due to budget. In the end, we were extremely happy with Mr. Thauvette and his team. They showed a very high level of professionalism and a love of work well executed.’
"We love the extreme simplicity and purity of the house, and how it’s set delicately within its natural environment," adds Rasselet. "In the snowy winter, the house magically blends into the trees and becomes whole with the site."
More from Naturehumaine:
Builder/General Contractor/Cabinetry Design: Sylvain Thauvette Construction
Structural Engineer: Geniex
Interior Design: _naturehumaine
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.