Canadian Black Spruce, Cedar Boost 18th-Century Style Quebec Home

Sustainable timber a nod to contemporary architecture

Tue 02 May 23


Nestled in the picturesque town of Maurice, Quebec, Canada, Résidence des Forge is a stunning private dwelling that seamlessly blends with the breathtaking surroundings of the St. Maurice River.

The architects behind the design, Bourgeois / Lechasseur, drew inspiration from Les Forges du Saint-Maurice, a vital industrial complex in Canada’s early 18th century, to pay homage to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage.

The building perches 55 meters above the cliff’s erosion zone, creatively navigating zoning restrictions and maximising the site’s features. The structure reveals itself amid towering pines, adds to the sense of discovery and immersion in the natural landscape.

Canadian black spruce plank cladding and knot-free cedar slats are featured in the highly detailed ceiling system. (Photo credit: Adrien Williams)

Canadian black spruce plank cladding and knot-free cedar slats are significant design elements. The black spruce planks offer visual neutrality, connecting to the landscape, while cedar slats provide warmth and contrast.

The secondary timber structure identified in the architectural drawings provided by Bourgeois / Lechasseur.

The residence comprises three wings built on a natural stone base, each supported by a primary steel framework and a secondary timber structure. The second-floor houses living spaces and a master suite, while the first floor accommodates the garage, utility rooms, and guest quarters.

Beyond the kitchen, in the boudoir, a wood-burning fireplace integrated into a massive stone wall soothes the room and offers a warm contrast to the raw materials of concrete, steel, and glass. (Photo credit: Adrien Williams)

The architect’s ability to create visually appealing, functional, and contextually sensitive spaces is evident throughout the design. The use of sustainable materials such as timber demonstrates the potential for contemporary architecture to minimize environmental impact while providing practical benefits such as natural insulation and moisture resistance.

The 312 sqm Quebec house is nestled amongst Canadian woodlands. The space offers a breath-taking view of the St. Maurice River and connects to a large deck. (Photo credit: Adrien Williams)

The building’s design is optimised for natural light and ventilation, reducing reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning. Large windows frame views of the surrounding landscape, and the living area extends onto a deck.

The project’s commitment to environmental responsibility is further evidenced by the incorporation of water-saving fixtures, appliances, and native plants in the landscaping plan.

The incorporation of native plants and materials in the landscaping plan not only reduces water consumption but also supports local biodiversity, further enhancing the residence’s connection to its surroundings.


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