Project: Knowlton Residence
Architect: Thomas Balaban Architect
Location: Lac-Brome, Quebec, Canada
Area: 3,229 sf
Photo by: Adrien Williams
Knowlton Residence by Thomas Balaban Architect
Thomas Balaban Architect, a studio from Montreal, has designed a cedar extension for a modern farmhouse in the Lac-Brome area of Quebec, Canada. Cedar weather cladding is a nice touch of contrast to the exterior of the white farmhouse and the surrounding snowy landscape.
Located in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Knowlton Residence contrasts simple forms with local language materials to renew an old country farmhouse. Responding to the client’s desire to enlarge and disguise their existing rural homes into their main residence, the gable roof structure has been completely renovated with the expansion of two new floors built on the foundation of the addition of one previous floor. Riding instead of spreading allows for more space and better views without the need to dig on the hilltop.
The box-shaped extension plays the familiar typology of a farmhouse, creating a series of interesting contrasts between this and that composition, both distinguishing and uniting various eras, shapes, and materials. The sleek corrugated metal roof and painted white brick renew the existing structure while the new extension is clad in special cedar, charred and silver boards to mimic weathered wood. The details are still modern and minimalist. However, the two materials speak to many old granaries and new agricultural warehouses found throughout Eastern Townships.
To a lesser extent, a group of windows intersects both structures – voids that bind together contrasting forms. It encloses social spaces, giving a magnificent view of Brome Lake Valley and Mont Sutton. Upstairs, the hole is open, showing the property’s mature tree frame. These dark-framed openings, simple material palettes, and minimal details connect interior space, subtleties highlighting geometric variations and moments where spatial intimacy meets openness.
–Thomas Balaban Architect