Residence De Lanaudière could in many ways be seen as a prototype showing how “plexes” can be reappropriated and transformed in neighbourhoods like the Plateau Mont-Royal. The original building was a very small 600 sq. ft. duplex with little charm. The large lot had proportionally much more value than the building itself. This situation led to the complete renovation of the existing building and the construction of a three story extension towards the back and over the existing duplex, tripling the total built area on the lot.
A first living unit occupies the two lower floors. In order to articulate the junction between the existing and the new structures, the new rear extension was sunken by 2 steps, aligned with the exterior terrace. The slight shift in level between the living room and the kitchen/dining room articulates a functional separation in an otherwise loft-like spatial organization. This spatial dilatation is further enhanced by a double height opening above the dining room, connecting the ground floor to an open office area on the second floor. This vertical space coupled with an extensively glazed rear elevation provides ample but mostly diffuse light, creating beautiful light play throughout the day. This strategy also helped bring light deeper into the much more compartmented second floor spaces, such as the office, bathroom and central staircase. A second smaller living unit occupies the third floor and features a large rooftop terrace. A steel staircase with open threads gives access to a large roof hatch, which leads up to the terrace. Just like the floors below, this unit also features large floor to ceiling glazing at the rear, continuing the framed language of the rear elevation and providing broad views towards the beautifully chaotic world of Montreal alleyways.