The project Ex Duplex is defined by its simple title. It all started with a couple acquiring a modest duplex, of which only the original volume was preserved. The list of constraints began with a pressing need to increase the total surface to accommodate a growing family. Jean-Maxime Labrecque’s first architectural solution was to expand the space from the inside using various tricks.
Evolving from two to three with the excavation of the crawl space, the levels are interconnected through the central staircase, which is sustained by a 17 feet high masterful structure of engineered wood. On the ground floor, an opening has been incorporated to create a space for family life, over two floors. This opening also invites natural light to enter further into the house, which has a positive impact on quality of life. On the upper floor, each room has a unique character: the master bedroom is deliberately tiny and bare, while the kids rooms, all in length, is wrapped in wood for a soothing atmosphere.
The inherent linearity of this project highlights the space volume and the way every inch is used effectively. Storage in the overall development plan is also noteworthy. Shaped as a compartmentalized box with a minimalist structure, this project has been described as innovative by the jury and wins the Residential Space Award 1,600 to 3,200 ft2.