(Eastman) Sometimes it happens that an architect’s house built for a client changes hands. And in some cases, the new owners do not have the same profile as the old ones at all. This is what happened in a second home in Eastman, now occupied by a large family who have adapted it to their needs.
In a pretty area of the Eastern Townships, the house stands on the plateau of uneven terrain. Its large windows cut out breathtaking views of Mount Orford. Minimalist, modest in size, it is nevertheless inhabited by a family with four children aged 2 to 8 years old.
Initially, this chalet built by the architects of the firm _naturehumane was intended for a client of French origin. But with the pandemic curtailing travel for a long time, the house was finally sold soon after it was built.
It was a couple from Sherbrooke, looking for a refuge in nature not too far from their main residence, who therefore acquired La Brèche, the name given to the house because of the effect of the canyon which splits it into its environment.
A two-bedroom house for a family of six is not much. But rather than replicate the size of their primary residence, parents were looking for a cottage experience. All four children sleep in the same bedroom, much to their delight. And they live just fine with the only two baskets of toys in the living room, and no television…yet.
It must be said that at any age, one can appreciate the quality of the living spaces, gathered in a large open room under the double-pitched roof. Like the rest of the house, the materials are sober: polished concrete floors, white walls, black kitchen.
Since the land is part of a development, the architects had to comply with certain regulations; for example, flat roofs were not permitted within the association. The result was a gabled roof, covered with a metal roof, while the exterior walls were clad in pre-grayed cedar.
Inside, the space is sparsely furnished with a large, low armchair, a rug, and a long table in the dining room for entertaining family and friends. No need for superfluous decoration since the large windows are like paintings that cut out the landscape.
“We went to install the terrace on the east side to take advantage of the morning light in the summer,” continues the architect.
The view overlooks the wilder side of the mountain, since the ski slopes are on the other side. The panorama changes from season to season: in winter, the absence of foliage allows you to clearly discern the shape of the mountain, while in autumn, of course, you can admire the colors. An imposing bay window in the corner caps the end of the living room. “That window is a bit like a precious stone that is inserted into the corner of the building”, illustrates Stéphane Rasselet.
As for the bedrooms, they are closer to the entrance, on either side of a corridor. Perpendicular to this, another passage – high and narrow this one – leads from the entrance to the living areas.
Since square footage is quite limited in the main building, an annex has been added. A high and narrow exterior passage, reminiscent of the effect of the hallway in the house, makes it possible to pass from one to the other. “When you’re driving around, you’re really bent on both sides by the buildings. We are open to the sky, but at some point, the view opens up to nature, describes the architect. We liked this slightly theatrical effect. »
This addition has the garage on one side, and on the other, a room whose walls and ceiling are covered with Russian plywood. Note that originally, the place was first designed as an exercise room, to practice yoga, for example. But it has been transformed into a bedroom by the new owners, for the use of grandparents or other guests who can go to sleep there without being woken up early in the morning by a host of children.