paul bernier’s timber dwelling winds through the canadian woodland
all images by adrien williams
located in a rural area 90 minutes outside of montreal, this single-storey lakeside house has been designed by canadian architect paul bernier. named ‘house on lac grenier’, the dwelling is entirely clad with vertical cedar slats, weatherproofed to protect the property from the region’s severe climatic conditions. the form of the home responds to its woodland setting, mediating the undulating terrain and bending around exiting trees.
the design mediates the undulating terrain and bends around exiting trees
on approach, the building appears as a mostly opaque volume that follows the contours of the site. a narrow opening in the envelope invites visitors inside where along the southern facade, the volume of the house opens up to let in light and views. the property then makes its final turn, orienting itself towards a clearing in the woods that offers a view of a passing stream. on the north side, smaller openings frame perspectives of the surrounding landscape and afford the building’s occupants carefully chosen vistas. atop the green roof, a small treehouse-like room looks out across the site.
the dwelling is entirely clad with vertical cedar slats
once inside, visitors are greeted by a large hickory wall unit, shaped to both offer seating and store coats. guests are then directed towards the living space, a large, generously-lit area that culminates in a cantilevered room with a view of the lake. on the south side, the exterior wall makes way for a large glazed surface that opens onto the forest. during summer, the trees create a natural screen to shield the house from heat, while in cooler months sunlight filters through the forest and floods the space with warmth and light.
the kitchen island is in the center of the space, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape
the large open area is occupied by three wooden volumes: the storage and bench unit in the entrance, a kitchen island, and a television and sound system cabinet. their functions are barely legible, allowing them to remain as abstract as possible in order to emphasize only their form, material, and relationship to one another. the kitchen island is in the center of the space, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. the entrance unit also screens off the more private areas of the home, guarding access to the bedrooms and the green roof.
guests are directed towards the living space, a large, generously-lit area
the area offers a view of the lake
a terrace adjoins the home’s living accommodation
atop the green roof, a small tree-house-like room looks out across the site
the building appears as a mostly opaque volume that follows the contours of the site
the dwelling is located in a rural area 90 minutes outside of montreal
location: lac grenier, ville d’estérel, québec
architecture: paul bernier architect
architectural team: paul bernier, anick thibeault
structure: calculatec inc. / engineer: alain mousseau
contractor: léonald goyette, general contractor
photography: adrien williams