Geothermal-powered dorm minimizes its carbon footprint in Quebec

May 25, 2020 by  
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Near Sherbrooke, Quebec, Montreal-based ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski has recently completed the Mitchell Family House, a new and energy-efficient student housing complex for the Bishop’s College School. Built to house 270 students from 37 countries, the brick-clad dorm complements the century-old private boarding school’s existing architecture while raising the bar for sustainable design with its emphasis on energy efficiency. In addition to an airtight envelope, the residence taps into the campus’ central geothermal system and integrates sustainable stormwater management systems.  Completed in fall 2019, the Mitchell Family House is the campus’ eighth student residence and the first to combine housing and academic functions under one roof. The V-shaped building is organized into two wings that converge at a common central core. Nearly 300 students — between the ages of 12 and 17 — are housed within 18 two-person rooms on the upper floors. The two-story apartments that bookend the wings accommodate the “house parents” and their families. All rooms connect to central living spaces with a lounge and dining/kitchen area as well as study nooks on the mezzanine level.  Related: LEED Platinum UCSB student housing harnesses California’s coastal climate Shared common areas are also abundant on the lower level, which is dedicated to academic activities. The entire floor opens up to an outdoor agora that embraces views of the surrounding forest and nearby river. Nature is brought indoors through tall, triple-glazed windows and the use of timber for interior surfaces. The exterior brick-and-concrete facade — sculptural precast concrete was used as a visual nod to the stone used on the campus heritage buildings — pay homage to the campus’ architectural vocabulary.  Because a major design goal was to minimize the building’s carbon footprint , the architects installed highly efficient mechanical systems, such as a heat recovery system, and prefabricated wall panels insulated from the outside to reduce energy loss. The residence is connected to the campus’ central geothermal system that has since been expanded with four new wells. In addition to implementing a stormwater management plan, landscape architects oversaw a “renaturalization” process to return native plantings to the site as soon as the building was completed. + ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski Photography by Adrien Williams and Maxime Brouillet via ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski

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Geothermal-powered dorm minimizes its carbon footprint in Quebec

Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

November 14, 2018 by  
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Montreal-based firm  Nature Humaine has unveiled a beautiful pair of adjoining cabins tucked into a remote forest outside Quebec. The cube-like structures are clad in a burnt wood facade, giving the design a distinctively minimalist aesthetic. To make the most of the incredible setting, the timber cabins have two massive glass walls that provide breathtaking, panoramic views from the interior. Located in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, the two tiny cabins hold court over a steep, rocky terrain. The cabins are clad in a dark, burnt wood that, along with the pre-woven hemlock planks used for the exterior walkways and connection point, create a quiet, natural palette that easily blends into the landscape. Related: Linear Cabin is an elegant hideaway in the woods of Wisconsin To reduce the project’s footprint, the cabins were anchored into thick, but nearly invisible, raw concrete foundations. Overhanging roofs on both structures were designed to emphasize the views but also to reduce solar gains in the hot summer months. The two cabins were slanted just a bit to follow the natural slope of the ground, giving off the rather frightful sensation that they are just about to slide off into the forested abyss below. The cabins are comprised of two modules connected by an interior walkway. The first module houses the living space and kitchen, while the bedrooms are in the second cabin. In keeping with the minimalist nature of the design, the interiors were also kept simple, with just a few select pieces of furniture. From anywhere inside the cabins, sweeping views are provided by the front glass facades, establishing a strong and seamless connection with the outdoors. + Nature Humaine Via Archdaily Photography by Adrien Williams via Nature Humaine

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Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

This rustic Quebec cottage now has a beautiful, prismatic extension

May 23, 2018 by  
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When a client with a large family reached out to ACDF Architecture for an extension of their rustic country cottage in Quebec , the Montreal studio responded with a modern building that provides a visually arresting contrast to the historic house. Dubbed the Chalet La petite soeur, the addition mirrors the original building’s dimensions with a sharply gabled roof. Unlike the existing cottage, however, the new building is clad in white-painted timber and a sheet metal roof for a crisp and modern appearance. Located on Lake Ouareau near the town of Saint-Donat in Quebec, the charming 1,400-square-foot countryside cottage and its new addition are designed to optimize enjoyment of the outdoors and views of the lake. The architects took inspiration from the surrounding landscape of birch trees when designing the new space, described as a “refined version of the existing house.” The chalet’s smooth, white-painted wood cladding mimics shiny birch bark and recalls the whitewashed walls of rural barns, while providing a sleek contrast to the natural silvery patina on the facade of the existing home. An elevated glass bridge connects the old cottage to the chalet and lies on an axis between the kitchen of the old building and the new living room. Glazed on both sides, the bridge overlooks views of the landscape and garden. The floor and ceiling of the bridge are finished in timber that matches the warmth of the existing home’s old wood planks. Both ends of the bridge are framed in wood, evoking the appearance of large picture frames. Related: Dreamy cabin is the perfect lakeside escape for large families An open-plan family room dominates the ground floor and overlooks spectacular views of the lake through large windows. The minimalist interior is dressed in polished concrete floors and natural wood details, like the central fireplace with a black-slatted wood surround. Hidden storage inside the built-in benches helps reduce visual clutter. The new master bedroom is tucked into the lower level, which is built of concrete. + ACDF Architecture Images by Adrien Williams

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This rustic Quebec cottage now has a beautiful, prismatic extension

Beautiful public gathering space grants second life to a former fish processing plant

November 10, 2016 by  
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The project. located in a village in the Magdalen Islands, Canada, is part of a larger initiative to build a series of public spaces on 12 panoramic sites. It pays tribute to the workers at sea and reinvigorates an otherwise inaccessible area. An openwork wooden stockade surrounds the site to guide passersby and provide privacy. Related: Canada’s Gorgeous Green-Roofed VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre Now Open to the Public The entire project comprises a service wing, a belvedere, a public market zone, a stage and an agora. Undulating elements represent a stormy sea, while the oscillating wooden counters and benches represent the docks. Interactive terminals and signs educate the visitors on the history of the site. A poem by a local artist contributes to the storytelling quality of the project. The architects used eastern cedar and marine plywood for their resistance in saline environment. + Bourgeois / Lechasseur architecte Via v2com Photos by Adrien Williams

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Beautiful public gathering space grants second life to a former fish processing plant

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