Canadian firm Appareil architecture opted for a minimalist, uncluttered and Nordic style for the renovation of this typical duplex in Montreal.

The original building was chosen for its large backyard as well as for its prime location near the city center and public transport, which was perfect for the green lifestyle of its new owners. Urban integration, sustainable materials and simplicity were the main guidelines for the transformation of the place, which was completely redesigned by architect Kim Pariseau and her team.


The firm first converted two dwellings into one single family home. The front of the residence has been modernized with a sober and simple facade, in order to respect the usual shape and style of this typical duplex and to blend well in with the other houses in the neighborhood. The clients also wanted vast living areas and a great luminosity, and Appareil opened up the floor plan to create airy rooms. Large sliding doors and windows were added at the back of the house, where the kitchen and dining room are now located, offering a nice continuity inside/outside.


Appareil played with different levels and volumes in order to define the space into separate zones without adding partitions. The living room, located at the center of the ground level, was sunken about 16 inches compared to the rest of the main floor, giving a certain frame to the space and an inviting feel. A dual-level was created to enhance the light coming from an existing skylight; the upper floor is now an open and spacious mezzanine, where glass partitions were used to establish a visual connection with the ground floor. The staircase, now a great focal point, was designed with glass railings to allow the light to pass through the different levels.

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all images © Francis Pelletier