Weathering steel encloses the entrance area and open-tread staircase inside the split-level King Edward Residence that Atelier Schwimmer has recently built for a young couple in Montreal, Canada. Located in the town of Côte Saint-Luc, the 260-square-meter residence is a replacement of an existing 1950s house that was destroyed by a fire.
The new house is made of rectangular boxes stacked in a way to create a large accommodating backyard, in opposition to the previous house a cube in the middle of the lot that hindered the side courts and resulted in a small backyard. Viewed from above those new boxes make a U shape house shielding from the southern neighbor, a ten-story “brutalist” style building.
The black metal cladded garage box is recessed from the front façade creating a loggia entrance; it sits perpendicular to the street. The day room box is thinner than the second floor, parallel to the street and open to the backyard. Above the night box overhangs the lower floor and holds the bedrooms. These principal boxes are cladded with ash berry velour brick forming a “T” shape front façade. Finally, inside the vertical black steel cladded box, a den and a family room sit on split-levels.
Inside, steel cladded walls accentuate threshold spaces, which are the entrance and the vertical connection in-between floors. As one enters the house, he’s greeted by views towards the backyard, a few steps in the house let the day room appear, as if the warm orange steel wall protects access. This transition is repeated where the staircase climbs into a vertical void capped by a skylight. Both the structure of the staircase and the wall are made of steel, these central elements endow the residence a grand space with its 30 feet interior wall and void.