The Siamese

These Siamese residences are in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal, on the particular lot of a former commercial building. The two co-ownerships each occupy half of the lot, within the dense urban fabric, woven of triplexes and duplexes, and have their respective entrances on Mentana Street and Boyer Street.

The project’s constraints were based on the classical requirements and limits of the urban context: the size of the neighboring buildings, the joint ownership, and the challenge of bringing natural light inside. The architectural approach dealt with the shape of the lot through optimization of the layouts. To take advantage of the depth of the land, the totality of the lot is built. In a setting of glass, brick, and cedar, two inner courtyards are sculpted, thus favoring the intake of natural light inside the building while offering quality private outdoor spaces, a luxury that is rare in the heart of a large city.

The interior is organized on three floors. A ribbon of walnut-colored wood between inner and outer glass walls forms the central staircase. The parking garage and office are located on the first floor, while the bedrooms, bathrooms and sauna share the central floor and benefit from the access to the inner courtyard. The top floor is used for the living areas. A dumbwaiter serving all three levels eases the domestic organization. The top floor offers a fully glassed-in open-plan space on the central opening of the building. The outdoor terrace, clad in cedar, provides city or mountain views for each residence.

The material nature of the indoor spaces plays with the limits between indoor and outdoor spaces. The wood cladding of the floor and ceiling, combined with the wood cladding of the interior courtyards, enlarges the spatial perception, thus giving the impression of uniformity to the eye and breaking the interior-exterior dichotomy. The interaction becomes permeable, and the boundaries become blurred.

A work was also thought at the level of the facades. Beyond the recollection of the former commercial character of the building, there is a true reinterpretation of the facade, which here acts as a brick screen only revealing the articulation of the courtyards and intimate terraces through its breakthrough on the upper floor.

Constrained from the start, the lot’s shape allowed for renewed architectural thinking in an urban setting. The Mentana-Boyer Siamese offers a double wealth: an island of daylight and private space in the middle of one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.