Renovating a Shoebox: Les Sillages Residence in Montreal

Appareil Architecture in Montreal revitalizes an otherwise unremarkable structure with the help of a few local designers.

The starting point for this new Montreal residence was a modest shoebox house. Set in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood, this unremarkable red-brick structure was originally built as working-class housing in the first part of the 20th century. Though there was something appealing about its simple form, the owners needed a larger and more updated environment. To make that happen, they turned to Appareil Architecture in Montreal.

The design created a new second level, giving the house more space without altering the footprint. To differentiate the contemporary addition from the existing volume, they created a contrast with the use of spruce panelling.


Les Sillages by Appareil Architecture

Kitchen Les Sillages by Appareil Architecture



Les Sillages residence by Appareil Architecture


To make spaces cohere in a more contemporary way, Appareil reconfigured the layouts. On the ground level, the architects positioned private spaces at the front of the house. These include a bedroom and an office. Toward the rear, which connects to a private yard, are shared areas: a living room, kitchen, and dining room. Though these shared spaces are all open to each other, Appareil gave them distinct definition by placing them at different levels: the dining room, higher than the living room and kitchen, connects directly with the rear yard.


Stairs in Les Sillages by Appareil Architecture



Upstairs, the architects created spaces for a new primary bedroom and an extra bedroom. They are on the street-facing side of the house, but by pulling the second-floor addition back from the footprint of the original house, these bedrooms gain privacy from the street.

As a studio that prioritizes craftsmanship, Appareil worked with Montreal designers for some of the interior. Kastella designed the dining room furniture, Atelier Tandem made the kitchen cabinetry, and the lighting was supplied by Lambert & Fils and Luminaire Authentik.

Photography by Félix Michaud.