Context and setting

The Maison Gauthier is located in the Laurentians, in Quebec, near the town of Mont-Tremblant. It is set in a hilly terrain and is surrounded by a dense expanse of forest characteristic of this mountainous region.

The lot is located on a rocky hill covered with spruce and birch. It is bounded to the east by the main road and to the west by the owners’ horse farm. The clients wanted a volume with views largely oriented towards the horses’ riding arena below. At the same time, they wanted to take advantage of the intimacy created by the topography of the lot.

The forested berm between the road and house creates a visual filter, allowing a sequential progression towards 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. This is the main entrance to the house.

Organization and perceptual narrative

The client’s marked interest in American minimalist painters, along with the presence of her ceramics studio, influenced the composition of the floor plan and the interconnection of simple geometric shapes in the design of the interior volumes.
European stables and horse-breeding centres were among the references explored during the initial design phase.

The house is designed in an asymmetrical V plan connecting two distinct areas: a wing for the garage and the client’s ceramics studio, and a wing for the common living areas.

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

From the entrance arch, the sequence marks a division between the service areas, the artist’s studio, and the more intimate family space. The curved corridor forms a threshold between the two wings. Its lowered ceiling produces a sensation of darkening and narrowing, which starkly contrasts with the expansive volume and light of the main room at the end (interesting chiaroscuro effect).

Here, high, inclined ceilings are divided by two vertical veils that partition the kitchen, dining room and living room without compartmentalizing the volume. The gazebo marks a fluid extension from the interior towards the exterior.

Proportions and materiality of the void

Wide, yet relatively low openings carefully frame the views towards the horses’ arena. The varying proportions create an interesting tension between the interior volume and the landscape.

Vast skylights oriented towards the east direct light towards the lime-covered vertical veils and also permit natural ventilation of the main volume.
These hollow volumes create a bright, luminous atmosphere, lending a sacred quality to the space.

A third “light cannon” in the ceramics studio directs zenithal light into the room. The inclined surfaces of the faceted ceiling, combined with the vertical veils and light cannons, lend the void sculptural qualities usually associated with solid space. The materiality of the void gives body to the volume.

Separated from the living area by a thick dividing wall, the bedrooms and bathroom are organized within the fold of the V-shaped volume of the house, creating an intimate, introspective ambiance.

The variety of interior spaces contrasts with the apparent simplicity of the exterior volume. The massive roof rests on a seven-foot brick base. The geometries converse with the impressive body of the existing farm, at the same time making their mark in the natural surroundings.

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.

Atelier Barda uploaded Maison Gauthier through Add A Home.
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Modern home with Exterior, Farmhouse Building Type, Ranch Building Type, A-Frame RoofLine, Brick Siding Material, House Building Type, and Metal Roof Material. Photo  of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Exterior, A-Frame RoofLine, Brick Siding Material, Barn Building Type, Farmhouse Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Ranch Building Type, and House Building Type. Photo 2 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Exterior, Brick Siding Material, Farmhouse Building Type, A-Frame RoofLine, House Building Type, Ranch Building Type, Small Home Building Type, Barn Building Type, and Metal Roof Material. Photo 3 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Concrete Floor, Recessed Lighting, Concrete Counter, Wood Cabinet, and Undermount Sink. Photo 4 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Living Room, Concrete Floor, and Wood Burning Fireplace. Photo 5 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Wood Cabinet, and Refrigerator. Photo 6 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Living Room, Chair, Concrete Floor, Wood Burning Fireplace, Recessed Lighting, Sofa, and Carpet Floor. Photo 7 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Recessed Lighting, Refrigerator, Wood Cabinet, Undermount Sink, Cooktops, Wood Backsplashe, Concrete Floor, and Concrete Counter. Photo 8 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Recessed Lighting, Concrete Floor, Wood Cabinet, Cooktops, Wood Backsplashe, Undermount Sink, Refrigerator, and Concrete Counter. Photo 9 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Hallway and Rug Floor. Photo 10 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Cooktops, Concrete Counter, Recessed Lighting, Wood Cabinet, Undermount Sink, and Concrete Floor. Photo 11 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Concrete Counter, Concrete Floor, Cooktops, Wood Cabinet, and Wood Backsplashe. Photo 12 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Living Room, Sofa, and Concrete Floor. Photo 13 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Hallway and Carpet Floor. Photo 14 of Maison Gauthier
Photo 15 of Maison Gauthier modern home
Photo 16 of Maison Gauthier modern home
Modern home with Concrete Floor. Photo 17 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Chair and Concrete Floor. Photo 18 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Chair and Concrete Floor. Photo 19 of Maison Gauthier
Modern home with Kitchen, Concrete Floor, Wall Oven, Concrete Counter, Recessed Lighting, Wood Backsplashe, Undermount Sink, Dishwasher, Drop In Sink, Cooktops, Refrigerator, and Wood Cabinet. Photo 20 of Maison Gauthier