Montreal structure agency renovates century-old heritage constructing
In Future Simple Studio’s newest project, The Rue de la Gauchetiere, a loft was updated through an elegant architectural intervention that accommodates flexibility and togetherness for family living, while celebrating the space’s unique industrial character. Photo Courtesy Felix Michaud
Future Simple Studio, a Montreal-based architecture firm, initiated The Rue de la Gauchetiere project, an apartment renovation in a one-hundred-year-old heritage building near the Old Port of Montreal.
The studio updates a loft through an elegant architectural intervention that accommodates flexibility and togetherness for family living, while celebrating the space’s unique industrial character.
With flexibility and light as top priorities, Future Simple Studio conceptualized alternatives for the universal ‘drywall with swing door’ room that dictates much of the residential interiors.
Two glazed convertible wooden volumes are arranged within the concrete space. They are programmed as bedrooms and used as spatial tools to organize the residential functions—kitchen, living, dining, study, reading, and exercise—which take shape on their periphery.
Each bedroom is crafted as a modified kit of parts, including everything from ceiling panels and mullions to flooring and furniture. The bedrooms are also outfitted with a series of automated blinds—both sheer and blackout—that transform them from open spaces to semi or fully private rooms. In the evening, when the sheer blinds are drawn and the lights are on, both rooms appear as floating lanterns in an open plan.
The apartment is punctuated with modified built-ins and furniture designed by the studio: a poured concrete bathroom sink top, custom bookshelf/desk, and convertible bed frame.
Inspired by the original character of the apartment, a material palette that is elemental and tactile was introduced. Walnut plywood structures copy the earth tones of the brick walls. Warm grey flooring and textiles pick up on the concrete, while glass and mirrors emphasize the airiness of the space with a constant play of light and reflection.
The ample addition of greenery, including vines and a 3.35-m (11-ft) outdoor tree, adds a surprising and soothing natural dimension to the loft’s downtown context.