Queen Mary Residence by Atelier Barda is a rear extension project of a historic home in Montreal’s Hampstead district.
The project involved the renovation of a Tudor-style home, built in 1927, to render it more suitable to the needs of a large family. Within the context of a very restrictive regulatory framework designed to preserve the district’s historic qualities, Atelier Barda embraced the challenge of striking a delicate balance between historicism and purposeful use. The common spaces of the existing home’s interior, while once well-suited to its era and its external surroundings, were small and overly-partitioned, thus restricting open movement and limiting penetration of natural light. Additionally, the existing configuration fell short of accommodating the number of bedrooms required by the family.
“The neighborhood is characterized by homes that were built in a variety of traditional architectural styles,” explain the architects. “It is located in a residential area that is devoid of industrial and commercial installations, and removed from the high-density of Montreal’s downtown core.”
Atelier Barda proposed a concept to preserve the historic character of the home, yet with a new transition from historic elements to a more intimate relationship between the home and its inhabitants. The original design of homes in the neighbourhood focused on the front façades of the built environment, with very little emphasis placed on the developmental potential of the rear areas of the properties. In keeping with that intention, Atelier Barda respected and preserved the design principles of the front façade, making only minor changes including window replacements and refurbished columns.
The internal portion of the newly designed extension focused on a flow of contrasts, reflecting the historic charm of the home and a progression of time and life for the family. Original design elements and rooms appointed with ancestral furnishings intentionally contrast with the modern ambiance of the 360 sq. ft. extension, symbolically embodying the personal growth of the home’s inhabitants. The home’s kitchen and dining area were transplanted to the new extension, resulting in a very contemporary, open space that is highlighted by polished, terrazzo-style concrete floors, white walls, and high ceilings. Natural light brightens the room, infused into the space through expansive openings, as well as through the newly created skylight.