Trees hit by the storm were scattered on the road to St. Donuts. At their destination, 50 windswept giants wait to rip them apart. The little apple tree remained intact, nestled in the heart of a house in which it became the focal point.
Posted at 12:00 PM.
From his native Montérégie, architect Maxime-Alexis Frappier retains the comforting memory of the farmhouse, his chicken coop, and 5,000 apple trees spread over 100 acres of fertile, domesticated land. A very different canvas from the untamed landscapes of the North which she nonetheless ended up being associated with over the years. Her lover grew up in this terrain of mountains, lakes, and fir trees where her parents owned a cottage for a long time before settling full time on the shore of Lake Archambault.
The charms of the cross-country ski runs, the village ice rink, the sheer expanse of water that can be practiced sailing, and the warm presence of the in-laws end up getting better than the guy from the South Shore. After years of renting in the area, Maxime-Alexis Frappier acquired the land adjacent to his parents’ land, but in the woods, with the goal of building a house connected to his green surroundings.
At the heart of this residence, a tree blooms exotic from the landscape – a piece of imported memory: a boy running through an orchard in Hemingford … Around this apple tree, the U-shaped house is illustrated, the three main blocks with doors – reminiscent of buildings farm. Each has its function: the living and garage areas are on one side; On the other hand, two blocks include the parent ward and the teen ward.
When he began designing this house in 2019, French architect Roger Tailibert – friend and master – was having his last moments of life. “He was the one who helped me step back from my practice. He always told me that the first duty of an architect is to create emotion. Taillibert achieved this in particular through the use of curves. This is where Maxime-Alexis Frappier drew inspiration from his first drawings. .
At first, I built a round house, but the project did not go to the family committee, he says with a laugh. My wife’s wisdom brought me back to practical considerations: Where would furniture be placed in this type of space and how much would it cost? »
So the architect went back to his drawing board. From sketch to sketch, find emotion with this simple concept and graphics, evolving around an interior patio that acts as a massive skylight. In this visual hack, the sun wanders from morning to evening to flood the kitchen with amber light at the end of the day. Then the moon appears there and gives way to a starry sky. Unlike the glass block in the living areas, which showcases the base of the trees, the central opening allows you to see the tops dancing. It is in this hole that his apple tree takes root. Space vibrates. pulses.
We are in a dense forest. We better understand the importance of each tree when we adopt one.
Maxime-Alexis Frappier, Architect and Founder of ACDF
“As an architect, it’s really exciting to make your own home. And just as worrisome, he says, admitting that he felt pressure to establish himself and stand out with such personal creativity.” While doing this, I was designing a 42-story tower in Vancouver, but the anxiety I felt Toward my house was living in design that represented a very defining moment in my career. »
“To relieve my anxiety about doing something that would go out of fashion, I revisited the basic principles of composition that you can’t go wrong with. Like a painter, he worked on layering overlays, playing up contrasts and transparency that create depth and interest. Upon entering, the visitor discovers this multi-layered space. – Airlock, central hatch, balcony, forest.The boundary between nature and outside is blurred.
Back to basics
The couple wanted a bungalow with an all-glass space that would allow them to connect with nature. The effect of transparency is concentrated in the centerpiece of the living room. “It feels like being outdoors like camping. It’s a space that makes you want to chat with others, read…”, confirms Marie-Andre Lahague. “And doing something other than watching TV,” continues William, the eldest of the boys.
To create an all-glass space in the living area and circulation spaces, the architect saved windows in the bedrooms. To reduce costs, get rid of existing building restrictions. The ceiling is 9 feet high, as are the large windows that match industry standards. The bathrooms and kitchen are unadorned and the rooms are of a reasonable size.
We wanted a house where we could all meet and see each other, but still have privacy. Together or apart, we are visually connected. And to be more secluded, we retire to our bedrooms,” emphasizes the designer, whose home was a small creative laboratory and an opportunity to push some concepts within budget. A question also accompanied the process and served as a setter for the creation: Do we really need it?
“The pressure was great. But I am really happy with what we did. I think in the end, this is a good example of sensible use of resources to create spaces where you feel good.” A small apple tree is a habitat for wildlife, gives a pulse to the temperature, changes with the seasons … “We have the impression that this tree accompanies us daily. I think it is this relationship between nature and humans that makes me the happiest.”