Located in the Rosement-Petite Patrie borough in the Eastern part of Montreal, this 120-unit low income housing project aims to redefine the typical Montreal low-income housing development project by introducing the potential for tenant personalization within a bold architectural statement. The project draws its principal design elements from the surroundings’ low-density conventional housing but transforms and subverts them in order to establish a strong contrast between the particular characteristics of each dwelling and the homogeneity of the whole.
The project’s urban design components, layout and textures are derived from precepts of nature and organic structures. The three phases of the project are visually linked together by a concept the design team refers to as the «snake»; this overall imaginary shape helps bring coherence and continuity between the low-density (4-storey) housing on Prefontaine street and the 8-storey buildings on Rachel street.
The «snake» also drives each building configuration: the structure of corner eight-storey building is dislocated on its two principal elevations in order to create volumetric setbacks that address the conflicting scales of smaller Préfontaine street and larger Rachel street. Natural systems such as fractals are introduced in the shifting patterns of the elevations; they translate into a rhythm of frame worked, panels of steel, brick and glass that render a playful diversity for each tenant. Vegetation is also present throughout the buildings by an innovative the use of a grid-like frame that supports clinging plants and confers a specific character to each occupant’s dwelling.Location: Montreal, Canada Architect: Sid Lee Architecture Photos: Stephane Brugger