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To leave or not to leave: Chelsea Hill House, Quebec by Kariouk Associates.

Detail of stone facade

The idea of stone being a permanent building material is a notion that has existed as long as man has built. In this house from 2008 Kariouk Associates have used industrial concrete block as a masonry veneer. The impression is almost that of a rusticated “stone box”, and suggests a firm foundation for the family. A rock of stability in a world of impermanence.

In something of a contradiction to the idea of durability suggested by the use of masonry, the house is arranged according to the age, and therefore behavioural habits of its occupants.

The adult quarters that include the formal functions of dining and entertaining rooms are located on the upper level. They are serene, sensible, tasteful and elegant. Whilst the teenage areas, located on the ground floor with the utilitarian spaces are likely to get more messy and be noisier! Down in the “bunker”, as children's rooms are often jokingly called, the surfaces are robust. An example is the use of bare concrete radiant floors.

Upstairs the materials are richer, more polished as exemplified with the use of dark timber floors and glass balustrades. Whilst the upper level enjoys spectacular views over a beautiful valley the lower level seems like it is in the thick of the landscape, with smaller windows.

Both zones are interconnected with a vertical slot so there is strong communication between them avoiding the impression that the children are living in another house.

The only danger of providing teenage children with such a lovely place to live and grow without too much encumbrance from parents, is that they may never leave home.

Beware!

Corner perspective.

Upstairs lounge.

The slot.

The slot.

view across the slot.

Posh bedroom.

Night shot.

First floor plan

Ground floor plan.

Gratitude to Homedsgn.

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