Résidence Houle-Thibault

Résidence Houle-Thibault

Architect
Chevalier Morales
Location
Mont-Tremblant, Canada
Project Year
2009
Category
Housing

Private Houses
Marc Cramer

An alternative to nostalgia

Chevalier Morales as Architects

Built on a mountainside with incredible views of Mont Tremblant, the Houle-Thibault residence questions the obvious nostalgia of traditional architecture imbedded within most of the large residential developments built in natural areas and intended for tourists or for secondary residences for city dwellers


Following the client’s initial request to have a «timber frame house», we worked with the help of a local artisan and after multiple iterations of the frame, we ended up not only achieving the simplest possible shape but we also managed to dissimulate all anchorage so the frame could be read without the interference of steel plates and bolts.


Context, orientation, winds and sun influenced some of the formal constraints that we imposed to the shape of the house which we derived from an abstraction of the traditional archetypal sloped roof house. The residence sits directly on a rock vein, thus determining the mineral materiality of the base of the house as if it had emerged naturally from the landscape. The base contains the garage, storage and technical spaces


The first formal iteration made of the house is a compression in its center in order to let natural light into the master bedroom and family room. This compression also resulted in the creation of the entrance at the pinch point. When entering the residence, in a double height space, a set of 4 large windows allows an immediate view of the top of the trees. The second iteration that we introduced is a bend on the North side to follow more adequately the rock vein profile. This reinforced the buildings integration to the site while resulting in an uncommonly shaped terrace. Finally, on both South and West sides, the shape retracts itself on the ground floor creating an integrated pare-soleil that helps maintain these windowed spaces shaded during the summer.


With its refined accessories like tilt and turn operable windows, copper gutters and glass guardrails, the residence offers a simple and sensible and alternative to nostalgic housing that is particularly in vogue in recreational and natural regions.

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