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A Renovation in Montreal Combining Elegance and Architectural Heritage


The Montpellier Residence, designed by Vives St-Laurent, is nestled in the charming setting of Saint-Bruno on the South Shore of Montreal. With its winding streets and mature trees, this architectural gem was built in the late 1960s by a local architect. Today, it proudly holds a place in the cultural heritage repertoire, celebrated as an iconic representation of Mid-Century aesthetics in Quebec.

Described by the Vives St-Laurent team as characteristic of North American bungalows, this modern residence stands out with its interplay of volumes and clean lines. Comprised of three separate single-story volumes, connected by a glass corridor, the house is completely clad in brick, and the interior is deliberately pared back allowing the expressive nature of the materials to take centre stage. 

The main challenge for the design team was to achieve a significant transformation while preserving the architectural aesthetic established by the original architect. While the initial brief focused on renovating the living areas including the vestibule, kitchen, dining room, lounges, and powder room, various interventions were also carried out to improve comfort, such as opening up the kitchen to provide a view of the courtyard and maximise natural light.

Wanting a space that would reflect their timeless and unique identity, the clients requested that the Vives St-Laurent team spend a few days in the house to better understand its atmosphere, lighting, and functionality. Beginning in the vestibule, which connects the front and rear courtyards and serves as a transition between the day and night areas, the design pays careful attention to detail. The front door, with its oversized pivot-mounted structure and circular handle, stands out as a design element that echoes the style found in the kitchen cabinetry.

The natural and timeless texture of the slate flooring has been carefully restored to retain its original beauty. In addition, the staircase railing leading to the basement has been repainted in a light shade, seamlessly blending with the contemporary updates in other parts of the space. Further preservation of the skylight and the dark wood ceiling cladding pay homage to the original finishes and add to the overall character of the design.

From the vestibule, there are two openings leading to the main living areas. The first entrance reveals a cosy seating area and dining room, while the second access leads to a comfortable living room and an informal workspace. In the heart of the home, the kitchen features an elegant Taj Mahal stone island that serves as the focal point. With its sleek and cantilevered design, the monolithic counter makes a bold statement. The unpolished stone surface in brown and beige hues adds a distinctive charm that blends seamlessly with the carefully chosen materials, including the dark stained oak and lacquered cabinets.

The interior features a considered curation of furniture and lighting by Danish design brands Menu, Frama, Nor11 and &Tradtion, alongside locally sourced pieces from élément de baseGR Shop and A-N-D

Lime wash plaster in a custom neutral tone contrasts beautifully with the surrounding brick and infuses the main living areas with texture. The restoration process involved a meticulous collaboration between the client and the contractor to find the perfect mortar shade ensuring a coherent integration with the surrounding elements. Furthermore, the sanitary block, covered in dark oak, pays homage to the original wood-clad ceiling of the entrance, preserving the historical charm and adding a touch of sophistication.

Throughout the home, the use of natural oak flooring by Unik Parquet and a palette of soft beige tones create cohesion between different areas while striking the perfect balance between elegance and modernity.

Carefully tailored for a family of four, the renovation seamlessly preserves the home’s charm and mid-century style, while thoughtfully opened partitions elevate the living experience, creating a functional and harmonious environment.


Project manager: Léa Courtadon
Contractor: Habitations Renaud
Photography: Alex Lesage

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