yang fei visualizes heritage townhouse as a hybrid art center in montreal

yang fei visualizes heritage townhouse as a hybrid art center in montreal

‘Maison Sédimentation’ by Yang Fei

 

Located in the historic harbor of old Montreal, ‘Maison Sédimentation’ by Yang Fei seeks to revitalize and expand an old townhouse, currently owned by a local art foundation that plans on converting it into a contemporary gallery and cultural center, all while maintaining its original design. Built around 1770 onto the foundations of a much older structure from 1692, the townhouse is clad in graystone and features a characteristic sloped roof meant to discourage snow buildup and raises end walls that serve as firebreaks.

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generating a quiet dialogue between the original construction and proposed design

 

 

meshing old and new 

 

While conceptualizing the project, Yang Fei (see more here) took inspiration from the concept of sedimentation. Just like the old city of Montreal, this historic townhouse is saturated with layer upon layer of the construction, demolition, and partial recycling of physical boundaries and foundations. This observation, however, raised a few challenges:

 

The rich history has resulted in complex circulations and varying elevations in this building. Thus deciding on a strategy of intervention required an honest assessment of what was feasible. It is impossible to meet the basic needs of an exhibition space while completely preserving and restoring the current structure. At the same time, only preserving the exterior façade and rebuilding everything within is nothing short of duplicity,’ shares the architect. 

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ceiling seemed to be peeled off, letting sunlight pour in

 

 

As such, Fei resorted to an enmeshed approach, whereby old and new gradually collide. Using the existing townhouse as a reference for materiality and spatial organization, he proposes an all-white building extension, an abstracted replica of the original building.

 

The topography and slat-like organization of spaces were considered the specificity of the old building and were preserved. The objective is to construct a gradience of temporality through three different but complementary approaches: integrated restoration, restoration with an explicit presence of the new, and new construction. Rather than simply adding spaces to accommodate contemporary art, the project is trying to curate sensory experiences,’ he concludes.

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inside a triple-height atrium space, where natural light comes from above

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a curved corridor filled with diffuse lighting that comes from the well

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axonometric view

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project info:

 

name: Maison Sédimentation

location: Montreal, Canada 
architecture: Yang Fei

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

 

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