Typically, home design is a pretty straight-forward process, but to create this house, the designers and home owners took a decidedly different approach. The design process was inspired by a common parlor game in which participants successively add words to those written by previous players to create a story. This principle, further developed by surrealist painters, known as “exquisite corpse,” was applied to the project by allowing the architects, Marie-Claude Hamelin and Loukas Yiacouvakis of YH2 Architecture, and the property owner, sculptor Jacek Jarnuszkiewicz, to work together and go back and forth with to create a collaborative, truly unique space.
The house is located on a forested plot close to Trousers Lake in Montréal, Canada. Surrounded by trees, the building aims to become a strong expression of the landscape. Once the crux of the design was agreed upon by the architects and the owner, the design changed hands from one creator to the other, slowly emerging as a composition of two timber-clad volumes. While one volume is clad in light wood, the other features a dark facade.
The open-plan layout of the house offers a spatial fluidity that connects various views of the surroundings. A mezzanine lounge on the top floor features a large canopy that transforms the space into a kind of observation tower or panoramic belvedere so that the inhabitants can feel like a part of the surrounding landscape. Massive windows on all levels further this effect.
Photos by Francis Pelletier