A fresh balance of modern style and organic materials, the E3 house contrasts sharply with its surroundings, the late 19th and early 20th century architecture of Little Italy Montreal near the busy Jean-Talon Market. L0cal Architecture firm NDA Architects created the modern intervention. The typical homes in the area feature brick facades and closed spatial divisions that strictly accommodate function. In this respect, E3 is quite literally a breath of fresh air, intended to house a hard-working creative couple with young-adult children in open-air rooms that complement their lifestyle.
No taller than the neighboring residences, it contains twice as many floors. This is because the floors are actually “split levels”. This creative use of space, as well as abundant fenestration including a skylight that tops the main staircase, cause air and natural light both to travel freely through the heart of the house.
A striking element of this original design is the allocation of just one room to each split-level. This allows the individual rooms to be semi-privatized by creating obstructed views. The bedrooms open onto the central space through wide pivoting or sliding doors, which expand the space, allow light to enter, and create a depth of perspectives when open.
A feature equally unique to the project is the dependence of the interior environment upon season and weather. Because so much natural light penetrates the house, the colors and shades of each season and time of day flicker throughout, constantly altering the ambiance.