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MARK + VIVI Renovates 1880s Canadian Row House

Adrien Williams

The Grand Trunk is MARK + VIVI`s latest project located in the transitioning neighbourhood of Pointe-Saint-Charles, Quebec. Nestled steps from Montreal’s Lachine Canal, the newly renovated 1,100 square foot row house currently serves as residence and design studio for designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera, founder of the interdisciplinary design-build practice based in Montréal, Canada. Originally built in 1880, the building’s exposed structure supports a whimsical integration of traditional industrial materials with clever and efficient design. 


As in their previous works, sustainability continues to guide Mark+Vivi’s design efforts. Rather than shipping construction waste off to landfill, demolished framing and floor boards find new life as rugged yet tasteful furniture, cabinets, and counter tops.

Steel columns and beams are added to support the existing timber frame structure. Left exposed and painted white, the new “bones” not only lift but gracefully compliment the old.


Pleasantly unexpected antique finds during demolition helped influence the design process of various spaces throughout. Uncovered were old toys, antique tools, and vintage enamel signs that now play an integral part in the home’s decor.

“We wanted to create a home that captured the essence and character of a classical 19th century Canadian row-house infused with contemporary touches of playfulness and style,” explained the designers.

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all images © Adrien Williams