find happiness in the forest | The press

Perched on the mountainside on one of the peaks of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, a slender house offers a breathtaking view of a landscape of mountains and forests. It is this horizon that he wanted to use in his free time to make a few townsfolk fall in love “to the nails” so much that they spent most of their time there.

Posted at 12:00 p.m

Isabelle Morin

Isabelle Morin
The press

Marielle Paradis and Pierre Dansereau invested in their research and took a rigorous approach. They took the time – a year and more than 50 visits – to find properties that met their criteria in every respect. First, a place “with a view” an hour from Montreal to allow for round trips between the city and the country. Then a place where you can hear the ‘silence’ – one filled with the chirping of birds and the rush of wind tickling the foliage.

There they could realize their project of having a place built to measure for their needs. A “house-nature” as they call it, where one can take a deep breath in one’s spare time to recapture the city’s energy, its cultural vibrancy, its abundance of restaurants and everything that makes city slickers resonate.

And then came spring 2020.

“We thought we were leaving town for two weeks. It’s been more than two and a half years now, ”reveals Pierre Dansereau, who has since retired while his wife continues her practice in teleconsultation. Unexpected turnaround: The Montreal condo has become pied-à-terre. From now on happiness is in the forest…


PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE OWNERS

Marielle Paradis and Pierre Dansereau, owners

Every day I take breaks to observe this beauty that surrounds us. It is true when we say that nature brings great well-being! This contact changed our lives.

Marielle Paradis, co-owner of the Maison des Hauts-Bois

Geometry in a Laurentian port

The couple approached their architects with the same attention paid to finding the property: by interviewing various firms. He chose Thellend Fortin, a duo composed of Louis Thellend and Marie-Louise Fortin, whose contemporary and creative signature matched his vision. “We wanted a home that would blend into the terrain and maximize the view,” says the owner. We fell in love with their plans. »

From an abrupt relief was born a house on two levels whose architectural language remains elegantly discreet in favor of the landscape it represents. The planning of the cabin manages to get the maximum out of the surrounding decor.

  • The main block ends cantilevered.  This is followed by the driveway and the garage.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The main block ends cantilevered. This is followed by the driveway and the garage.

  • The outdoor dining room, nestled in its fence at the heart of the upper floor, is protected from wind, bad weather and black flies thanks to a retractable electric mosquito net.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The outdoor dining room, nestled in its fence at the heart of the upper floor, is protected from wind, bad weather and black flies thanks to a retractable electric mosquito net.

  • The slight slope of the roof energizes the volumes.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The slight slope of the roof energizes the volumes.

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The building’s elongated rectangular shape offers a series of rooms, each generously lined with windows: on one side, a panoramic view; on the other side a striking light emanating from the south.

The enfilade of spaces is energized by changes in levels that allow the structure to adapt to the topography of the land. Despite the slope, the outdoor area can be accessed from most of the rooms at the same height.

A slight slope of the roof – five degrees is crucial – makes it possible to modify the volume of the rooms. The ceilings, which are highest in the living room, gradually decrease towards the bedroom, making it more intimate and enveloping.

An omnipresent landscape

Daily life takes place on the upper floor which includes the living rooms, al fresco dining room and master suite. “The kitchen is my favorite place,” says Pierre Dansereau, who found a new interest in cooking in this well-planned space with two 12-foot counters. “Having time,” he says, “makes the experience doubly enjoyable. »

On the garden level there is a family room, also used for training, and two bedrooms for visits, one of which has been converted into an office. Both floors have their own outdoor landscaped garden.

  • The spacious and bright living room with its 12+ foot tall windows offers sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The spacious and bright living room with its 12+ foot tall windows offers sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

  • At the end of the corridor is the living room, separated from the kitchen and dining room without partition.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    At the end of the corridor is the living room, separated from the kitchen and dining room without partition.

  • Imposing yet discreet, the kitchen is a functional space where nature is omnipresent.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    Imposing yet discreet, the kitchen is a functional space where nature is omnipresent.

  • In the garden level family room, light enters through the open staircase and a large glass door.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    In the garden level family room, light enters through the open staircase and a large glass door.

  • The living room and dining room are visually connected by large windows, between which the outdoor terrace appears.

    PHOTO CHARLES LANTEIGNE SUPPLIED BY THELLEND FORTIN

    The living room and dining room are visually connected by large windows, between which the outdoor terrace appears.

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“We wanted a big house – spacious and airy – but we wanted to rediscover the concept of private space, so as not to have the impression of always being in the same room together,” emphasize the owners. The living room, which is located at one end of the house, is separated without partition from the kitchen and dining room by a covered outdoor terrace surrounded on three sides. At the other end of the building, the master suite is cantilevered, giving the impression of floating in the treetops.

Inside and outside always this wood that gives the place that natural and warm touch. Everywhere this generous light and this vision of a changing and never monotonous nature.

“There is a dazzling bud bloom this spring. It was different last year. This contact with nature is always a surprise,” notes Marielle Paradis, describing an authentic landscape: a forest all around, the mountain in the distance, the valley below and the sky that offers a changing and sometimes grandiose image when accompanied stars is filled . Endless pleasure…

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