MI-2 Residence / Dupont Blouin
Text description provided by the architects. MI-2 is the second part of a triptych of three-family homes, located along the Mille-Îles River in Laval. The three houses are built in brick and this one, with its light grey color, is chromatically placed in the center. Its set of champagne-colored metal roof slopes and its dynamic claustra give a bold character to the neighborhood. This bungalow-style house is modest in size and inspired by the vernacular of Laval architecture at a time when the island was a vacation spot.
Unlike the other two residences, MI-2 is not directly on the waterfront. Surround- ed by neighbors on one side, a lot in the back, the boulevard des Mille-Îles in front, and a private street on the other side, the architects decided to close the house in on itself, limiting the direct openings to the outside. The largest opening, which overlooks the river, faces north, so the architects placed an interior courtyard to the south in order to bring light into the heart of the project while maintaining privacy.
Like the front door, which is hidden from the façade and whose recess naturally creates the canopy, the interior courtyard is born from the void created between the front façade and the living room. This transverse luminous axis illuminates the residence and puts the house in relation to the river. The openwork of the bricks creates luminous patterns in the courtyard, as well as on the floor and walls of the house.
This intervention allows for natural light throughout the day. The sun rises in the office, continues into the living room, into the dining room, and sets in the kitchen. The courtyard allows you to enjoy the outdoors in complete privacy. With its large glass doors, the outside invites itself inside and vice versa. Only the two bedrooms and the bathrooms do not benefit from this outpouring of light, the more private spaces resting at the western end of the house. In the bedrooms, high windows on the same level as slits placed at strategic points bring the necessary light while limiting the vis-à-vis. In the bathrooms, light enters through banded windows.
Limited in terms of the layout by the size of the lot, the architects optimized the space of this 1850-square-foot residence, including the garage. To avoid wasting space with a hallway, the living rooms overlap and naturally create a circulation axis to the bedrooms.
After the cheerful terrazzo of the first-floor entrance, the material palette becomes sober. White oak floors, white walls, and light gray ceramic tiles dress the residence with simplicity and minimalism for bright and comfortable interiors.
To compensate for the unattractive nature of the land and the lack of privacy, the designers were able to compose an enveloping and peaceful architecture. Playing with voids and solids, in plan and in elevation, Dupont Blouin aligns concept and materiality for a neat and harmonious realization.