Despite major renovations carried out by its owner in the early 2000s, the layout of the Saint-Pierre remained oppressive and not very functional. Some would have been happy with it. Its owner preferred to make a clean slate and gave La Firme carte blanche to convert it into a place out of the ordinary. The result is a fascinating play of volumes and contrasts which has earned it two design awards.
Nestled in the Caverhill, a heritage building in Old Montreal dating from the 19th century, the Saint-Pierre has the cachet and character of earlier industrial buildings. From the outside, the place displays elegant arched windows, symmetrically set in a facade whose stone lace recalls the Italian neo-Renaissance style. From the inside, this charm is confirmed… and its disadvantages too!
With only one windowed wall on the front, the back of the loft is plunged into darkness. Its relatively airtight shell is accentuated by surprisingly low ceilings for a construction of the period. In the old decor, incongruous angles and the abundance of black on the walls amplified a natural propensity towards heaviness. Sometimes you have to admit when you’re on the wrong track to get back on the right foot, which Edward Brooke did: “I saw this as an opportunity to invest in my property and take it to a whole new level. »
Although he did not have a precise idea of the result, the owner had a firm conviction in the potential of his studio and a non-conformist vision for its future.
The easy solution would have been to transform the wasted space between the two poles of the studio into storage. La Firme’s most daring idea was to turn it into a sauna: a rarity in a 1,600 square foot studio. Behind its smoked glass, this relaxation space is revealed when the lights are turned on. Otherwise, its glass wall acts like the one-way mirrors of interrogation rooms and allows, from the inside, to see without being seen. In the dark, the sauna remains perceptible, but discreet, thus fueling a certain mystery.
From the living area, the reflective wall bounces light and contributes to the impression of grandeur and brightness of the place. With 20 feet of counter space, the kitchen, previously unfunctional and uninviting, became a culinary laboratory. In the center, its marble island spontaneously attracts the eye with its assertive streaks which give all its character to the space. This choice once again reveals a penchant for an explosive and intrepid aesthetic.
The living room, immersed in a bath of light, occupies the front of the decor. Same thing for the master bedroom, separated from the living area by the office space. Linear, it extends through a wall of tinted glass, from the bathroom, which is open, to a shower room which is closed. At the end of the passage, an interesting play of mirrors reflects the window and gives the impression that the space continues to infinity. Its storage wall crosses the room from one end to the other and acts as a common thread between the bright facade and the darkness.
Exploiting the natural light coming from the three large windows was the cornerstone around which the layout was structured. The absence of a load-bearing wall greatly facilitated the task of achieving this objective, and made it possible to maximize the surface area of the living area.
The light gradually fades towards the other end of the apartment, where the space is segmented and without openings to the outside. We grouped together the vestibule, a mechanical room, a laundry room, a bathroom adjoining the entrance, an extra bedroom and a bathroom which also serves the sauna.
However, the space is awakened in a different way with reflective surfaces.
The clothing of the Saint-Pierre remains minimalist in the choice of materials: wood, glass, brick and black ceramic punctuate the decor. The abundance of wood warms up a black and white aesthetic that might otherwise seem harsh. As for the brick wall, discreet under a coat of paint, it is a backdrop rich in textures which highlights the beauty of the arches.
In this ensemble, the old and the new blend melodiously and create a cozy environment equipped with a sauna, two bathrooms and two powder rooms! After neglecting his loft for years, the owner readjusts his plans. “I hadn’t planned to move back there, but the results are so exciting that I’m in the process of doing so! » With this work, the Saint-Pierre loft finally seems to be on its X.