Montreal studio Thellend Fortin Architects has recently completed a 490-square-meter cottage outside of Quebec city in Petite-Rivière-Saint-Francois — a small municipality close to popular Le Massif ski resort. Dubbed ‘Long Horizontals’, the dwelling comprises a series of volumes that are embedded and stacked into the top of a hill, which inspiration comes from the majestic landscape of the St. Lawrence River estuary, visible from the rocky headland on which it is located.
Built on a steep slope and unobtrusive on the street side, the house is completely open to the river, unfolding toward the horizon. Blocks are clad in anthracite grey wood and greyish panels to blend into the forested setting.
Spatially, rooms are organized around an inverted plan that locates bedroom suites at the garden level. Set in concrete, they are anchored in the site’s topography. At ground level, living spaces panelled in light wood, each one leading into the next, are characterized by different heights that allow definition of different uses. The dining room, airy and full-windowed, pulls away from the main building as it soars toward the horizon. Massive, vertical concrete chimneys provide a striking contrast with transparent openings and the lightness of wooden volumes built on an overhang.
A black metal staircase leads to the lower level, which includes a master bedroom, two bedrooms with their own en-suite bathrooms, and two kids bedrooms that share a washroom. These are all laid out around a children’s playroom, where a door provides access outside. Other amenities on this level include a wine cellar, laundry room, and plenty of storage.