When Heritage and Contemporary Meet
The townhouse owners contacted Montreal architect Guillaume Lévesque for a very unique renovation project. They wanted to transform an old 1880s duplex into a multi-unit and harmonize the original style of the building with a decidedly contemporary and uncluttered addition.
Restoring a 19th-century house while retaining the heritage and creating a contemporary addition is quite a challenge.
The original 60m2 building has been fully restored and converted into two apartments: a two-floor 4 ½ and a 3 ½ on the second floor.
Both apartments have an open plan with abundant fenestration with large 3.65m high side windows carved into the brick wall. The attic has been completely covered with new slate tiles. The dormers and woodworking have been completely rebuilt.
Addition of a contemporary townhouse
A 180m2 contemporary addition on three levels was also built at the back of the building. The basement includes a double garage with concealed door and storage rooms. The living room on the ground floor opens through large sliding doors onto a 4m x 12m outdoor terrace. It covers the driveway to the garage in the basement and offers a magnificent space for a dining room and sunny outdoor living room. The second floor contains the master bedroom, two bathrooms, and a living room which can also be a guest bedroom.
The addition includes large openings providing all interior spaces with a considerable amount of natural light. A sober facing of black metal panels covers the contemporary addition and gives the whole a neat finish.
The Ville-Marie borough required that the existing building be preserved and restored. A challenge that the team of architects, accompanied by tinsmith craftsmen, cabinet makers, and masons, has successfully taken up.
“I am very proud of the design work and site monitoring that we have accomplished at Alexandre-de-Sève townhouse. When I first visited the building with the clients, I knew it was going to be a great challenge. I immediately saw the potential of retaining the heritage of the existing building while adding a contemporary volume. This project would not exist today without the meticulous work of the contractor and craftsmen, engineers, team of architects, and landscape architect as well as the rigorous follow-up of clients.” – Guillaume Lévesque, architect
Location: Montréal, Quebec
Project: Town house and 2 housing units
Area: 310 m2
Status: Completed in 2020
- Collaborating architect: Matisse Aubin Thuot
- Structural engineer and general contractor: GENIEX
- Mechnanical / electrical engineer: Group Cémec Inc,
- Landscape architect: L’espace paysage, Martine Boudreault
- Photo credit: Charles Lanteigne photo
About Guillaume Lévesque architecte
Since 2010, Guillaume Lévesque Architect firm realized over 120 residential and institutional projects for private clients and for community and public organizations in the North (Nunavik) and other regions across Quebec.
The firm specializes in architectural design, technical advice, feasibility studies, analysis of existing buildings, and coordination of permits with municipalities and building engineers, as well as site supervision.
Volunteer and engagement
Guillaume Lévesque is also involved with Architecture Without Borders Québec (AWBQ) and initiated the Kitcisakik Mission in 2009 with the aim of creating a knowledge transfer and residential renovation project in order to help indigenous populations renovate the buildings themselves. His commitment earned him an Award of Excellence from the Ordre des architectes du Québec in 2011 and the Governor General’s medal in architecture in 2012.