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Finding happiness in the forest | The print

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Situated on the mountainside on one of the peaks of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, a slender house offers breathtaking views over a landscape of mountains and forests. It is with this horizon which he had thought of exploiting in their free time that a couple of citizens “to the tip of the nails” ended up falling in love to the point of spending most of their time there.

Posted at 12:00

Isabella Morin

Isabella Morin
The print

Invested in their research, rigorous in their approach, Marielle Paradis and Pierre Dansereau took the time – one year and more than 50 visits – to find a land that met their criteria in all respects. First of all, a location “with a view” one hour from Montreal to facilitate round-trip travel between the city and the countryside. Then a place where you can hear the “silence”, full of the chirping of birds and the rustle of the wind that tickles the foliage.

There, they could carry out their project to have a place built tailored to their needs. A “house-nature”, as they describe it, where you can breathe deeply in your free time to find, refreshed, the energy of the city, its cultural effervescence, its wealth of restaurants and everything that makes convinced citizens vibrate. .

And then spring 2020 came.

“We were planning to leave the city for two weeks. More than two and a half years have passed “, announces Pierre Dansereau who, in the meantime, has retired, while his wife continues her teleconsultation practice. Unexpected turning point: the Montreal condominium has become the pied-à-terre. D ‘ now on, happiness is in the woods …


PHOTO PROVIDED BY OWNERS

Marielle Paradis and Pierre Dansereau, owners

Every day I take breaks to observe this beauty that surrounds us. It is true when we say that nature brings great well-being! This contact changed our life.

Marielle Paradis, co-owner of the Maison des Hauts-Bois

Geometry in a Laurentian paradise

The couple targeted their architects with the same attention paid to researching the land: by interviewing several studios. His choice fell on Thellend Fortin, a duo made up of Louis Thellend and Marie-Louise Fortin, whose contemporary and creative signature matched his vision. “We wanted a house that hugged the ground and maximized the view,” says its owner. We fell in love with their plans. ”

From an abrupt relief, a two-level house was born whose architectural language remains elegantly discreet to the advantage of the landscape it marries. The design of the cabin manages to extract the maximum from the surrounding furnishings.

  • The main block ends cantilevered.  The entrance and the garage are attached to it.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The main block ends cantilevered. The entrance and the garage are attached to it.

  • From the outdoor dining room, enclosed in its enclosure in the center of the upper floor, you are sheltered from wind, bad weather and black flies thanks to a retractable electric mosquito net.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    From the outdoor dining room, enclosed in its enclosure in the center of the upper floor, you are sheltered from wind, bad weather and black flies thanks to a retractable electric mosquito net.

  • The slight slope of the roof energizes the volumes.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The slight slope of the roof energizes the volumes.

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The elongated rectangular shape of the building offers a succession of rooms, each generously flanked by windows: on one side, a panoramic view; on the other, a suggestive bursting light from the south.

The row of rooms is energized by level variations that allow the structure to adapt to the topography of the terrain. The exterior is therefore accessible at the same level from most of the rooms, despite the slope of the land.

A slight inclination of the roof – five degrees of slope, however decisive – allows you to change the volume of the rooms. The ceilings, at the highest point of the living room, gradually decrease to the bedroom which thus appears more intimate and enveloping.

An omnipresent landscape

Daily life is lived upstairs which includes the living rooms, the outdoor dining room and the master suite. “The kitchen is my favorite place,” says Pierre Dansereau, who has found a new interest in cooking in this well-designed space with two 12-foot long shelves. “Having time,” he says, “makes the experience doubly enjoyable.”

The garden level houses a family room which is also used for training and two bedrooms for visits, one of which has been converted into an office. Both floors have their own landscaped outdoor garden.

  • Large and bright with its windows over 12 feet high, the living room offers an impressive showcase of the surrounding landscape.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    Large and bright with its windows over 12 feet high, the living room offers an impressive showcase of the surrounding landscape.

  • Down the hall is the living room, away from the kitchen and dining room without being separated.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    Down the hall is the living room, away from the kitchen and dining room without being separated.

  • Imposing yet discreet, the kitchen is a functional place where nature is omnipresent.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    Imposing yet discreet, the kitchen is a functional place where nature is omnipresent.

  • In the garden level family room, light enters through the open stairwell and a large glass door.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    In the garden level family room, light enters through the open stairwell and a large glass door.

  • The living room and the dining room are visually connected to each other through large windows between which the outside terrace is interspersed.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE, SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The living room and the dining room are visually connected to each other through large windows between which the outside terrace is interspersed.

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“We wanted a large house – spacious and airy – but we wanted to rediscover the concept of private space so as not to have the impression of always being together in the same room”, underline the owners. Without being divided, the living room, located at one end of the house, is separated from the kitchen and dining room by an external covered terrace surrounded on three sides. At the other end of the building, the master suite extends overhanging and gives the impression of floating among the treetops.

Inside and out, always this wood that gives the environment that natural and warm touch. Everywhere, this generous light and this vision of a changing and never monotonous nature.

“This spring there is a dazzling burst of gems. Last year was different. This contact with nature is a constant surprise “, Marielle Paradis notes, describing an authentic landscape: a forest all around, the mountain in the distance, the valley below and the sky that offers a changing and sometimes grandiose image when filled with stars. An infinite pleasure …

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