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Inside Peek

Charlebois Lake Residence


On a wooded lot on the shore of Charlebois Lake, the clients wanted Quebec’s Paul Bernier Architecte to build a contemporary house, luminous and open to the nature. They wanted most of the spaces of the house to be level with the land.Charlebois, Paul Bernier

The terrain is slightly sloping. During a first visit to the site, a perimeter was established to identify the ideal location. The privileged view towards the lake and the south coincide, which guided the orientation of the building.Charlebois, Paul Bernier

An “L” shape plan was chosen for the house. In the “L” plan, a wing is reserved for the day spaces (kitchen, dining room, living room) and the other wing houses the more private spaces (master bedroom, bathroom, washing). This type of plan allows all the spaces to be oriented towards the south and towards the desired view. In this house, one is always close to the windows.Charlebois, Paul Bernier

The “L” plan also defines a sunny outside space, hidden from the view of the neighbour and open towards the access to the lake. Besides, it is also in this space that was laid out a screened porch to enjoy the summer evenings.Charlebois, Paul Bernier

At the meeting point of the 2 wings of the “L”, was created a two-story volume. On the ground floor there is a garage and the upstairs houses a guest bedroom and an office which enjoys a strategic position overlooking the lake and also with a view down to the ground floor.Charlebois, Paul Bernier

On the outside, this two-storey volume is clearly distinguished from the “L” shape volume by its materiality. It is covered with Corten steel (weathering steel) which has already taken its orange colour, while the volume in “L” on one floor is sided with black dyed cedar.Charlebois, Paul Bernier

Inside, too, this distinction is felt by a double-height space between the 2-storey volume and the one-storey space. A staircase with cantilevered steps made of walnut allows access to the upper floor.

Charlebois, Paul Bernier


Paul Bernier Architecte is a contemporary architecture firm based in Montreal since 1999.

Photography by James Brittain.