MBM House: Heritage Revival with Modern Elegance

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Project Info

Project name: MBM House
Location: Montreal, QC
Area: 8475 pi2 (787 m2) on 4 levels
Client: A family with six children

Architect & Project Manager: Maxime Moreau
Designer: Anne-Joelle Chamberland
Team: Benjamin Tardif, Gabrielle Morin
Collaborator: Catherine Vézina

Engineers: CYS Experts-Conseils + MA-TH
Contractor: Patrick St-Onge Habitat
Landscape: Vertige Paysage
Project sector: Single-family residential building

Project completion date: January 2022
Photo crédit: Maxime Brouillet
Awards & Distinctions: 4 Gold Certifications at the GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition

Montreal, Canada, is known for its rich architectural heritage, and nestled in the heart of the city lies the MBM House, a remarkable English-style manor. This historic gem, originally built in 1936, recently underwent a transformative renovation led by MXMA Architecture & Design and Chamberland Design. This article explores the journey of the MBM House, from its heritage preservation to the infusion of contemporary elegance.

Preservation and Modernization: A Unique Blend

Preserving Montreal’s History

The MBM House stands as a testament to Montreal’s architectural heritage. Its Tudor style, characterized by slender doors, leaded stained glass, and terracotta tile roofs, reflects an era when the Tudor style reigned in England. The house’s exterior charm conceals its remarkable history, making it an integral part of the neighborhood’s landscape.

Challenges Uncovered

Initially, minor renovations were planned to modernize the interior. However, an in-depth inspection revealed the house’s alarming condition. Issues such as condensation, leaks, structural deformation, and asbestos were discovered, leading to the realization that a significant renovation was necessary.

A Vision of Balance

Balancing the neo-Tudor style with contemporary aesthetics was a central challenge. Architect Maxime Moreau embarked on a journey to create a harmonious fusion of the old and the new. The result: a home that preserves its heritage while exuding contemporary elegance.

The Heart of the Home: A Central Staircase

At the core of the renovation, the original entrance hall and staircase were transformed into an innovative, continuous staircase. This elegant black oak staircase serves as both a functional element and a striking design feature. It seamlessly connects all levels of the house, emphasizing simplicity and refinement.

Luminosity and Modernity: The Kitchen

The kitchen was cleverly designed using minimalist modules from Danish company VIPP. These modules seamlessly blend functionality and aesthetics, creating a modern touch within the historic setting. A central island serves as both workspace and a dining area for the family, harmonizing tradition and modernity.

A Play of Colors and Ambiances

Each room in the MBM House offers a unique experience. The library, adorned in bold navy blue, evokes a sense of well-being, reminiscent of the Danish “hyggelig” concept. The master suite, isolated by a wood-clad airlock, provides a haven of peace, with soft white oak panels and frosted marble exuding monochrome elegance. In the attic, a bright pink bathroom creates a playful and romantic ambience.

Bringing the Outside In: The Basement

The basement underwent a significant transformation, with excavation to create comfortable living spaces connected to the outdoors. Four large French doors now flood the space with natural light, turning a once dark area into a welcoming, eco-friendly environment. The concrete floor helps capture and release heat, enhancing energy efficiency.

Preservation and Restoration: A Delicate Dance

Restoring the original lead windows was a complex task. Replicating their glazed compositions while obtaining the necessary permits required meticulous attention to detail. Reclaimed stone, reused roof tiles, and copper zinc work were part of the restoration efforts to preserve the building’s integrity.

Conclusion: A Timeless Transformation

The MBM House‘s renovation stands as a testament to the fusion of architectural styles—where history meets modernity. It represents a harmonious blend of past and present, offering an elegant, European-style interior within a classic setting. This transformation showcases the magic that can happen when heritage preservation and modernization come together. Montreal’s architectural heritage shines brightly in the form of the revived MBM House.

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