Dans l'Escarpement is the name of this house and it was not randomly chosen. It means nothing less than 'on the steep slope' and that is exactly where this special house is located. On a steep slope next to a cliff, a one hour's drive from the beautiful Montreal in Canada.
Colourful trees and vast lakes are part of this special piece of land and are the daily breathtaking view of its inhabitants. They commissioned YH2 Architects to design the house in such a way that it would merge into the hill and cause as little disturbance as possible in the surroundings. The Montreal-based architectural firm specialises in the integration of housing within a particular context. YH2 therefore chose to work with two concrete boxes that keep the impression of the house on the ground to a minimum. The architects placed one box vertically, another one horizontally. Both were anchored with a glazed volume. The horizontal box is a few metres away from the vertical and serves as a guesthouse. It gives direct access to the forest and connects to the spa area.
The intermediate level is actually the true heart of the house.
The owners' main entrance and private residence are located on the top floor of the three-storey vertical box. One level below is fully furnished as a small office and library area adjacent to the kitchen. A further level down is the sauna room with a large window that overlooks the surrounding area. The intermediate level is actually the true heart of the house. There, walls have been replaced by large windows that allow the interior to blend into the exterior. The living room opens onto a terrace that was built on the roof of the guest house. For the interior, the architects chose to work with mainly natural materials that blend in with the beautiful Canadian nature. Mahogany is the predominant material they selected for its durable qualities and rich tones. In the living room, the floors, ceilings, beams, window frames and kitchen cabinets are completely finished with the material. It is a hint to the surrounding trees in the landscape. The cosy fireplace in the living room was made of Corten steel. A material that fits nicely within the colour palette of the dark wood. The concrete that the architects frequently used on the outside is symbolic of the enormous boulders that characterize the area. A metal bridge connects the main entrance to a concrete garage. This is the only way to get to the house. As you walk on the bridge you seem to walk to a floating house. A nice piece of architecture!
Images © Maxime Brouillet