Associate: Pierre Thibault, Julie Poisson, Mathieu Leclerc
Architect: Atelier Pierre Thibault
Location: Lac Clair, CDN–QC J0K 1V0 Québec
La Maison Haute stands alone on a steep mountain in the middle of a forest. Solitude was a deliberate choice here. The natural surroundings are the house’s only companions. The line of view goes through the imposing trees over Lac Clair in the valley. A stream babbles past. In order to create the best possible connection to nature, the house features an open area. This is detached from the closed building and has its own fireplace and dining area. Room-high glazing ensures a view of the lake. The wooden floor of the terrace continues into this covered addition to the living space.
But it is not only the floor that is covered in wood. The entire façade consists of light-varnished wood that carries through to the interior walls. Towards the lake, the house is glazed from floor to roof. Both these features mean that the borders between interior and exterior are blurred. The canopy over the entryway forms a connection between the two volumes: the two-story main house and the living space, which can be opened up.
The spatial concept of the main house is unconventional: seen from the glass front, we have the impression of a two-storey space with an elevated inset that is home to the bedroom. The walls of this volume do not separate the bedroom all the way up to the ceiling. The resulting opening creates both a better acoustic link to the living room on the ground floor and a better visual connection as well. Further back, we find another bedroom and a bathroom. For the sake of privacy, the bathroom walls have not been left open at ceiling height, but filled in with panes of glass. This allows daylight to penetrate the room on three sides.
One area of the home’s rectangular plan is reserved for stairways. White stringers and light-coloured wooden treads fit nicely into the rest of the interior. The open stairway creates a link to the basement and allows daylight all the way into the lower reaches of the house. Two more bedrooms, a bathroom and living space are located underground.
La Maison Haute lives from its connections – to its spaces, its two different volumes and, most of all, to its surroundings.