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This eye-catching staggered house was designed by MU Architecture to slot neatly into the steep and rocky landscape of the site, both physically and aesthetically, while capturing the incredible views of the Lac de la Cabane in St-Adolphe d’Howard, Quebec.
Determined to create a dialogue between the property and the lush forest in the Laurentians, MU Architecture created overlapping masses of blackened and natural cedar, as well as stone cladding to blend in with the surroundings. Rocks excavated from the site during the construction have also been used in the landscaping to further enhance its connection with the natural landscape.
On entering the Estrade Residence, visitors are greeted with a striking staircase that unfolds in a vast light-filled void, inviting guests to cast their eye upwards, catching glimpses of the floors beyond. Seemingly ‘floating’ wooden stair treads and glass balustrades let in plenty of light and give the impression of weightlessness, despite its metal structure.
This minimalist aesthetic and attention to detail pervades the entire property and sets the tone of the project. On the ground floor there is a generous open-plan living space that offers breathtaking views of the lake beyond, while the verandah becomes an extension of the kitchen, with a barbecue and outdoor dining space, which is perfect for entertaining in the summer months.
The colour scheme is restricted to a limited palette that reflects the exterior – the graphic black ash kitchen and integrated furniture contrasts with the slick white walls, while the double-sided fireplace in the heart of the common space helps to define the zones and creates a sense of intimacy in the vast living area. The natural wooden floorboards also help to add warmth and create a seamless transition between inside and out, linking up with the timber-decked terrace.
At the very top of the property is the master suite, which is contained within a black cedar box that dramatically overlooks the entrance and dominates the surroundings. This space is reserved for the adults, with a large walk-in wardrobe and a luxury bathroom with an impressive bath-tub view of the forest. The lower-ground floor spaces are devoted to the children, with a table-tennis play area, four further bedrooms.
Overall, the tripartite layout of the home, spread over several levels, successfully blends in with its natural habitat while providing a spacious and tranquil space for family life.