When Montreal architect Guillaume Levesque was tasked with the restoration of an 1880s duplex whilst simultaneously adding a contemporary volume he knew it would be a challenge. The borough of Ville-Marie required that the existing building must be preserved, so a collaborative team of tinsmiths, cabinet makers, masons and craftsmen worked in conjunction with the architect to realize the vision.
The original building was fully restored and the 60 sq.m space converted into two separate apartments. Both are open plan concepts with large side windows carved into the brick. The attic was given new slate tiling and original dormers and woodworking rebuilt.
The homeowners also wanted a more contemporary townhouse to be added in the rear of the building. This three level structure comprises a basement with a concealed door double garage and storage areas, a ground floor living area which opens onto a 4 x 12 sq.m outdoor terrace suitable for dining and outdoor living (in addition to doubling as a driveway cover), and a second floor housing the master bedroom, two bathrooms, and a second living room which can also serve as a guest bedroom.
Again, large feature windows maximise natural light exposure, and black metal panel cladding lends a modern feel to the structure and differentiates it visually from the original building in front whilst still harmonizing with its essential forms. Cool grey countertops and backsplashes throughout the interior interplay with the natural wood tones of the flooring and terrace enhancing the modern feel of the new townhouse and at once anchoring it to the elegance of the original building.