Design: Spring 2016 Construction debut: July 2016 Completion date: December 2016
Area: 260 sqf.
Amid one of the most sought after regions of Alberta, contemplating the range that borders the Waterton National Park, the site for this project, pure and spectacular, was a main element to influence the design. The command was relatively simple: create a standalone building for a sauna that would blend in the natural environment and where the bathers could enjoy the views of the mountains in their full breadth. There should also be a private space for changing and a room for relaxation and contemplating.
The building is thus oriented towards the mountains and the openings, a fixed window for the stove room and a folding door for the parlor, offer the best views of the numerous peaks. Another driver for the design was the wind, as gusts blow with fierce in this area. For this reason the eaves are absent and the covered outdoor area can be closed by a panel that hinges on the northwest wall and protects from the prevailing winds when open.
The materials have been chosen so the building does not distract from the background and use a language that respects the elements present in the landscape. They also have been kept to a minimum: concrete panels, bare steel and fir for the outside, concrete, fir and cedar for the inside.
Design: winter 2016-17 Stage: Proposition
On a narrow lot northwest of Edmonton, through a thin strip of land the road and the lake are connected and, in the middle, within a private meadow is planned to be built a modest, frugal and self-sufficient cabin.
The access to the site being very limited, it influences the design and construction/assembly method so the least time as possible will be spent on site.
The cabin also need to be totally autonomous in energy and resources, yet providing all the comfort possible to its users. The client plans using it as a transition dwelling and in the future move and live there full time.
Albeit asymmetrical, the structure remains simple and contains a limited number of components. The use of glulam beams and columns, which can be cut and prepared in a controlled environment and only assembled on site, allow a more efficient and straightforward construction. The walls are made of pre-painted steel insulated panels that can be installed quickly and limit the number of steps necessary and the number of hours spent on site.
Design: Winter 2014 Construction debut: June 2014 Completion date: Spring 2016
Area: 580 sqf.
This project is the first where I had the occasion to work with and for a client throughout the process. This cabin is a weekend getaway for a couple for whom the contact with the elements is primordial. From thought to realization, I have been the designer, contractor and labor to bring this idea to life.
The Cabin sits among the trees, over a slight depression of the terrain. It hovers and respects the environment, it offers a direct connection to the outside and embraces daylight.
Particular efforts have been made to create a clean, concise and unique shape and the materials palette have been kept to a minimum to avoid distracting from the views and natural elements. The result is serene, light bathed and functional spaces. In addition to the bedroom are a studio,dedicated to painting, as well as an semi-enclosed outside area adjacent to the kitchen/living room space.
The aim of this project was to realize a modest structure that could be placed on any piece of land. Thus, it is autonomous in terms of energy and water; solar power feeds a self-sufficient system, from which the lights, outlets and composting toilet are drawing. Poly tanks handle the water needs for the shower and sink.
Most materials are locally sourced as the lumber from a local mill and steel from nearby supplier and craftsmen. The design intent was also to speak to local culture, raw and functional.
Beside additional hands-on experience, this project thought me a lot about material sourcing and supply organization. Even if not so far from Québec, the building materials offered in the Calgary area have proven to be organized quite differently regarding the products availability and prices. These variables have a powerful influence on the process, the final result and cost.
House in the Laurentians
This house is the first building I have ever built and remains as a profoundly personal project. Being the owner, designer and builder, I have known a full experience of the process and its result; I lived there for three years and inhabited what had become an extension of my body and soul, a primal manifestation of this most basic need humans have for shelter.
Although I do not think it is a particularly interesting piece of architecture, it is rather a lived experimentation of its most simple and popular expression, a house. Driven by sustainability principles, the design was oriented towards conserving energy in a passive way to create an agreeable and original cocoon.
Far fetched in the sinuous Laurentians, hidden within this damp forest, nested on one Canadian Shield ripple, life within this house inspired serenity, simplicity and health.
Design is a thorough exercise, from which we too often only see the outside, the finished product. Design at the scale of a city, of architecture is among us, within us, and cannot be ignored. We experience it inside out.
Take a plane, turn it on itself. By the bend, sheet material becomes structure, flexibility translates to rigidity, space awakens. Then take it back, fold it flat again, take it away. This is my take on the theme of the fold, my way to attract you to discover the inside of design.
DTalks is a non-profit organization that promotes and fosters dialogue related to design, architecture and urbanism in Calgary. They launched a public lecture series, The Fold, for which information booths were to be placed in one of the city's theater. I created these arches, simply made of plywood, that can be folded flat and stored or transported using a minimum of space. The inherent qualities of the material serve their functionality, the strength is utilized to create a stout yet flexible structure.
Among the buildings designed in the course of my Masters program, this is by far the most achieved and developed. As the comprehensive studio project, it had to fully integrate the structure as well as the environmental and mechanical systems and respect all the local legislation in effect.
The building is composed of two separate volumes which are linked from the underground parkade structure. The bistro, that is approximately 60 m2, occupies the South West corner of the lot and is one story high (3,5m) with a rooftop patio. The main volume is three stories high (12,5m) on the Northern side and the South West section is an open atrium than expands 10m high. The main volume is separated in the middle by the circulation core, where staircases, corridors and main mechanical elements will be located.
There is an exhibition area situated in the front atrium, a small lecture hall, administrative offices, classes and studios and a library, in addition to all supportive spaces as meeting lounge, kitchen, washrooms, mechanical rooms, storage and IT office.
Threefold is a project that explores means of introducing hyperdensity within Ottawa at the human scale. Recognizing the multi-core nature of Ottawa’s urban organization and the existing low density patterns, Threefold proposes two strategies: vertical growth for habitation and horizontal growth for services and commerce.
The project takes two forms: the tower, where a cafe, restaurant and bar compliment the dwellings which occupy most of the space. The other buildings will host the projected LRT station on the North and the regional train station on the South. An additional complex is planned on the East side.
Providing a natural ground condition is a priority and dictated the landscaping. The complex is surrounded by a tree belt, acting as a buffer zone from the harsh activities adjacent to the site and creating a protected zone in the center.