Split-level house on the slopes of Mount Royal
Clients: A couple and their three children
The owners acquired this 1960s, multi-level house on the slopes of Mount Royal with a plan to turn it into a comfortable home where they could entertain family and friends. They were looking for a more spacious, refined and bright interior.
The project was a collaborative effort by the designers at Desjardins Bherer and the architects at Atelier URA. The proposed work presented a stimulating challenge: add a floor to accommodate the master suite, rework the layouts of all the other levels, and select high-end materials for both the interior and the exterior.
Make a dramatic entrance
Adding a floor effectively enlarged the vestibule, creating the spectacular effect on arrival sought by the owners. A long skylight over a series of wood beams serves as a roof and provides the desired light, which was lacking in this entrance. The heart of the home is now bathed in sunlight, with striking effect.
The skylight precluded the use of a chandelier, so a set of three fishnets festooned with Swarovski crystals was installed, a design by the Italian Ingo Maurer. During the day, the sun produces lighting effects scattered across the walls, and in the evening, three small, strategically placed spotlights illuminate the crystals, which glisten in the darkness.
The marble floor, with its purplish veins running from slab to slab (bookmark), and the striated wood (bloodwood) of the alcove complete the decor of the vestibule and set its distinctive character.
Plunge into the heart of the home
The vestibule forms the very core of the house and connects all the floors.
On the right is the staircase leading to the master suite – with a bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, bathroom and study. With open risers for greater transparency, the staircase features stained-oak treads on a bronze-painted metal frame for an even brighter effect. The smoked-glass balustrade on the mezzanine reinforces the colour of the marble and adds warmth.
On the left, the double living room offers a view over the city and the St. Lawrence River through an amply fenestrated wall. A large silk carpet defines the space, and the burgundy sofas frame the way to the terrace and its view over the pool. The wall housing the television takes up the theme of striated wood from the hall and houses ample storage space in white lacquer cabinets.
A staircase located just to the left descends to the lower floors. There can be found the children’s bedrooms, the family room, play areas and even a gym. The house has seven floors, as many landings and... an elevator. Nothing has been left out!
Give coherence to the whole
The same care has been taken in the other rooms of the house. The master bath is finished in the same marble as the entrance as well as the stained oak used in the stairs. Its bathtub, placed under large windows, adds a touch of elegance to the room. The kitchen gives pride of place to marble and metal, with striking use of bronze. Its antique chandelier, carrying fond memories for the owners, beautifully adorns the space.
This singular house has functional rooms and considerable storage space. Adding a second floor has given the owners the privacy they desired, the large skylight lets the sun penetrate deep into the house, and the combination of rich materials and warm colours has created a delightful sense of shelter for the home’s occupants.
Collaborator: Atelier URA (architecture)