A departure from tradition and architectural inventiveness
Located in a working-class neighbourhood on the southwest part of the island, this house with its very nearly blind natural aluminum frontage is surprising at first glance. Built on a very narrow strip of land, this residence, built by the team at T B A / Thomas Balaban Architecte, responds to the challenge of preserving privacy while maximizing the light that enters the home.
To achieve this, the designers eschewed the traditional home layout by opting for bedrooms on the lower floors and living areas on the upper floors. A central, inner courtyard allows light to reach all the way down to the basement and creates a microclimate that makes it possible to take advantage of passive solar energy and natural ventilation. Several outdoor terraces, made of ipe wood, break the monotony of cold vertical surfaces.
Inside, there is an architectural homogeneity. Stark white walls and radiant concrete floors provide a backdrop for the homeowners’ collection of design and art objects. The kitchen centres around two main design elements: the large island and the storage wall. Both are made of chocolate-coloured torrified white oak, which injects a striking contrast. Large, dome-shaped lighting fixtures add a glow and harmony to the space.
The jury found this an invigorating project, and in conferring on it the Residential space, 1,600 to 3,200 sq. ft. award, made mention of the intensive research and minimalist approach that gave this house its sense of space.