After a couple of weeks in the desert, I decided I needed to cool off a bit, and what better place than the Grands-Jardins home, located in Petite-Rivière-St- François, Quebec, close to the Massif ski station, on a mountainside overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
One of the major challenges of the project was to position the house to optimize the privacy and the views. The home is built parallel to the street and at a slight angle so as to look out over the south and the river and to make you feel, when on the inside, that you are in a ship’s cabin.
Since the house is located on a deep slope, passersby can only see the top level from the street, while on the river side, three above-ground levels reveal a façade interconnected by a play of angles and glass.
While the house is well anchored in the rock, the volume of white wood seems to lift from the ground with the lower level set atop a series of large cement pilings. A wooden walkway connects the home to the parking area and gives an even more aerial look to the structure, making the upper level seem to take flight with its galleries projecting into empty space. But the greatest space of all might be the immense overhanging living room that literally projects and opens onto the slopes of the Massif.
The home includes, on the lower level, an exercise room and office with large windows; a wine cellar blending into the staircase; a studio/workshop and access to the pool. The main entrance via the walkway features a spacious closet to store ski gear and other items, a multipurpose room with fireplace and the children’s bedrooms with bathroom. A staircase set in a tunnel of red cedar takes you up one level to a spacious, light-filled kitchen, dining room and living room, with windows on three sides. In addition to the terraces, this aerial level includes the master suite with bedroom, walk-in closet and private bath.
A house built to enjoy the outside from the inside, and the inside from the outside.