Architects: Chevalier Morales Architectes
Project team: Sergio Morales, Stephan Chevalier, Karine Dieujuste, Christine Giguère, Samantha Hayes
Completion date: May 2008
Photography: Marc Cramer
Location: Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada
Built on a mountainside with incredible views of Mont Tremblant, the 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», Chevalier Morales Architectes worked with the help of a local artisan and after multiple iterations of the frame, they ended up not only achieving the simplest possible shape but 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 Chevalier Morales Architectes imposed to the shape of the house which Chevalier Morales Architectes 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 Chevalier Morales Architectes 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.