The Villa Boréale is a charming contemporary cottage located in Charlevoix, an eastern region of the Quebec Province well known for its wooded valleys, skiable mountains and breathtaking point of views over the Saint Lawrence River. At the heart of the boreal forest, the Villa is set on a sloped and private site, matching up nicely with the ubiquitous vegetation of the surroundings.
Being involved early into the design process, the architect was able to assist the clients, a young and dynamic couple in their early thirties, in choosing the right site to convey their vision.
The project’s design comes from a desire to revisit the historical architecture of the New France dwelling into a contemporary vernacular cottage. The high pitch roof with shallow overhang is characteristic of this early form of dwellings.Local materials with natural finishes, such as Eastern cedar cladding contrast with the charcoal matt metal standing seam. Moreover, the cladding seamlessly wrapping the walls and roof provides a strong signal of the whereabouts for the main house entrance.
Early into the design phase, the site was revealed as a powerful element of the project. By carefully positioning and sizing each window, specific external views were framed to create a stunning atmosphere bathing in natural light throughout the day. Subtle transitions between exterior and interior were made by pushing in and out some parts of the base geometry. Through its simplicity, the Scandinavian-inspired design captures the essence of the project: the surrounding landscape and abundant wildlife.