The Hôtel-de-Ville Residence is a multifamily residential project in the Plateau Mont-Royal district of Montreal. This historic workers neighbourhood offers a variety of architectural richness, including the extensive use of traditional red clay brick. The project consolidates a block corner with an existing two-storey building through the construction of a new three-storey building that cantilevers over the existing volume. The project is distinguished by creating unity and cohesion between a patrimonial building and contemporary architecture, through a simple stripped-down language. For ACDF Architecture, the Hôtel-de-Ville Residence was an opportunity to reflect on the expression of contemporary urban architecture.
ARCHITECTURAL INTEGRATION IN AN URBAN CONTEXT AND MASSING
The project aims to value the integrity of the neighbourhood’s architectural qualities, while integrating contemporary characteristics. In order to attain a durable architectural expression that is respectful of the built environment, ACDF analyzed the surroundings and chose to preserve certain predominant existing qualities. For instance, the project maintains the position of residential entrances directly on the sidewalk, preserves a volumetric simplicity, conserves the unity of the street corner, and composes the new façade in order to preserve vertical proportions of openings and careful alignments. At the back of the block, the volume of the project is articulated around a private courtyard in order to maximize its impact on the ground plane.
The architects valorize the existing building by contrasting the masonry of the distinct volumes: the existing volume is clad in traditional matt red brick as opposed to the new glistening white volume. This white brick allows the project to affirm itself and distinguish the neighbourhood. The unique use of masonry and the attention to detail, such as the two-toned hardware, creates a reference to urban materiality and sparks a dialogue between the two volumes in order to create one entity. The contemporary design does not overshadow the environment, but maintains a relationship of exchange and dialogue with the urban fabric.
EXPLORATION OF AN URBAN TYPOLOGY THAT APPEALS TO FAMILIES
The project addresses the reintegration of the family into the urban environment. To do so, the units are spatially organized on two levels, physically separating the day zone from the night zone. The majority of the units have two to three bedrooms, in order to satisfy the family needs. The square footage of the units varies between 868 SQFT and 1700 SQFT. Each unit has an exterior space (terrace or balcony) as well as a private entrance, allowing for communal living while maintaining privacy. The set of houses, which traverse the entire lot, are designed in order to allow an optimal entry of natural light. All units benefit from a visual connection and physical access to the central courtyard, fostering a community atmosphere between families.