Contemporary renovation of a 1950s bungalow: Du Tour Residence
Du Tour Residence is a 1950s bungalow renovated and transformed into a contemporary home by Clairoux. The project was completed in 2014 and it is located in Laval, Canada.
“Reimagining a 1950s bungalow
Our challenge was to transform a family home built in the Fifties into a contemporary residence. The same family has owned the property for decades. Naturally, the house is steeped in memories and, in a sense, is a showcase of family history – this is a quality we were asked to preserve. From the outside, we had an interesting prairie-style “canvas” to work with; and inside, we allowed the house’s unique features to guide our design decisions. Working closely with architects at Open Form, we created a serene and elegant space in harmony with its natural surroundings.
Volume and perspective
First, we went to work on the outside. We restored the house’s prairie style by recreating horizontal lines and bringing out the beauty of the natural wood. Next, we “exploded” the inside (formerly, a cramped and inward-looking place) to create a sense of space and possibility. Southern exposure suggested a floor-to-ceiling window – in this case covering both floors for optimal natural light. The splendid natural surroundings cried out for an opening in the southeast corner, in the heart of the living space, providing a stunning view of the stream nearby.
Inside, we opted for a clean contemporary look featuring horizontal lines and streamlined volumes. We wanted light; we wanted flow. The only bulky feature we kept was the natural stone chimney in the large central fireplace.
Elegance and sobriety
Above all, we wanted to avoid sterile black-and-white juxtapositions, which have been overused in recent years. Our goal was to create an elegant contemporary space by breathing new life into an architectural legacy from the previous century. To pull this off, we relied on subtlety and a clean-canvas approach that focused on lines, volumes and materials. For a perfect example of the power of combining horizontal lines and up-to-the-minute design, take a look at the kitchen.
Our colleague, interior decorator Patrick Robichaud, delivered distinctive design totally in compliance with the project’s requirements. Furnishings and accessories were selected with the owner – a joint effort that resulted in the sober and elegant finish we were aiming for. A home has life and character, it is something that is always evolving, and so some design touches will continue to be added over time.
There’s more to high-end projects than budget considerations. Our customers grant us creative freedom and place their trust in us – and these are the things that spark our gratitude, drive our inspiration, and enable us to deliver our best work. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to work on this project. It was a challenge, but we pulled it off.”
Photos by JB Valiquette