Project description of La Cornette, Québec / by YH2:
Built on the slope of a small hill, La Cornette is a country house open to the pastoral landscape that surrounds it. Under a soaring roof resembling a nun’s cornet wimple is a roomy dwelling modelled on traditional Quebec houses of old that lodged large families and their relatives. This house for celebrations and holidays, designed for two families, is set into the naturally uneven terrain in a way that brings each level into direct contact with the surrounding natural environment. It offers a resting place for all guests under its large gable in a series of bedrooms and unusual sleeping areas.
An out-scaled structure, like the agricultural buildings that surround it, the house is both traditional in its morphology and innovative in its use of materials. Shingled with raw fibre-cement panels on the walls and roof, it is a house beyond the domestic scale, simple and rot-proof, capable of standing the test of time. The house is striated with bands of horizontal windows, giant louvers that cut the sun at its most powerful, with new points of view at each level. It is protected by its wimple from the hot summer sun and inundated with light in the winter, needing neither air-conditioning nor heating on sunny days.
The interior is in wood, painted or natural, in planks or panels, composed almost exclusively of made-to-measure furniture pieces:
- from the refectory table for meals to the day table with hideaway television set;
- from the large wraparound couch in the living room to the stainless-steel kitchen island;
- from the balustrade bookshelf along the stairway to the wall night-lights made of aluminum panels with cut-outs of fireflies, fish, and frogs;
- from wall-to-wall beds where people sleep foot-to-foot to overhanging bunk beds floating in the landscape
It is a playground for architects, children, and adults, a vacation colony lost in the countryside.
Jury’s 1st prize, “single-family residential buildings” category, 2011 Awards of Excellence in Architecture, Ordre des architectes du Québec.
Site: Township of Cleveland, Québec
Area: 3,000 square feet
Year of construction: 2008 / 2009 / 2010
yh2 design team: Marie-Claude Hamelin,
Project manager: yh2
Builder: Emmanuel Yiacouvakis