L’Abri is a young Montreal based design-build office. The Drolet project is their first complete home transformation. The project addresses the question of learning to live in smaller, more efficient spaces. By transforming a tiny living space into a comfortable home at an affordable cost, access to property in the city is made easier. The design focuses on smart organisation and innovative features, freeing the plan for a generous open-space.
The complete transformation of this small residence takes advantage of its extremely narrow plan. The proposed layout concentrates the servant spaces along the party wall and reduces the partitions to a strict minimum. This organisation allowed for an open plan maximising the use of the less than 500 sq.ft space.
The design efficiently integrates multiple storing spaces and modular divisions. A series of built-in millwork pieces serves the open-space, linked together by the use of white oak. Wood elements unfold from the high storage cabinets to the countertops. Behind one of the panels framing the kitchen are hidden translucent sliding partitions to isolate the bedroom when needed. The bedhead is integrated to the bookshelf. The laundry and utility room, the only closed space, is concealed behind the vanity. The traditional bathroom piece is exposed to the central space in an unconventional manner. This unique disposition enables the layout to be truly opened across its full length. The wooden extension of the vanity is supported by the glass panel of the walk-in shower and is mirrored by an ipe wood shelf on the other side.
The project was realised following L’Abri’s design-build approach, the office acting as both designer and general contractor. This approach allowed to optimise the budget in order to deliver a quality project at affordable means. The use of prefabricated elements and economic solutions, such as the pine floor, freed budget for the production of the custom made oak furniture, the project’s signature. Moreover, the meticulous organisational work of the functions allowed to fully open the small plan, generating a new spatial quality and comfort to the tiny, yet highly functional space.
Photo credits : Alex Godbout (https://looseglass.exposure.co/)