The Holy Cross residence is a peculiar structure found in Montreal, Canada. On one hand, the building fits in quite nicely, surrounded by old, traditional homes. On the other hand, it also stands out and it makes the most of its contemporary flair.
That was made possible by Thomas Balaban Architecte (TBA) and the strategy was to allow the exterior and the facade to stay monochromatic and the overall structure to coordinate with its neighboring buildings without sacrificing the contemporary character of the project.
The facade was designed using aluminum cladding, taking advantage of the natural color. Flat concrete panels were used around the doors and windows and they were painted to match the metal.
The interior is uniform, with white walls, polished concrete floors and warm touches of wood throughout. In order to bring more light in, the architects carved out a series of spaces and reorganized the layout. TBA is a multidisciplinary studio established in 2009 and they believe that:
Each project is a direct result of its own evolution and process, achieved by the means and methods best suited to the desired outcome.
This idea was expertly illustrated with this project.
The residence was completed in 2014 and it offers a total of 300 square meters of living space. The living spaces were moved upstairs. This way they get to take advantage of the natural light as well as the views.
A staggered outdoor courtyard was placed at the center of the house. All the rooms have access to this central space which contributes to an efficient natural ventilation throughout while also bringing light into the lower levels.
The kitchen is part of the main open social area and is composed of two main elements. One of them is a large island which, apart from offering extra storage space and countertop, also integrates built-in sinks. In addition, the island also contrasts with the light color palette and lets it chocolate wood accents warm up the décor.
The other element is a storage wall, also featuring the same dark wood accents. By only including these two features into the kitchen, the designers managed to create a minimalist, contemporary and open look.
The dining area is adjacent to the kitchen and they are both exposed to the central courtyard space where an outdoor lounge area was set up. Sliding doors make the transition easy. There are three large white pendant lamps hanging above the kitchen island and the dining area and they set a cohesive look between the two areas.
The staircase which links the two levels has a sculptural design, with a combination of black and dark wood accents mixed in with white walls and light grey flooring.
The bathrooms set a different mood. They feature darker, graphic tones and repetitive patterns, although they share the same simple and contemporary design approach as the rest of the house. Transparent glass partitions maintain a fluid look and sharp contrasts coordinate these spaces with the rest of the rooms.