House on Lac Grenier – Estérel, Québec

Designed by: Paul Bernier Architecte

House on Lac Grenier
Estérel, Québec



The land is completely wooded. It is crossed by a stream and borders a lake.

We chose to make a low rise building, mostly one-storey, whose sinuous shape is guided by the nature that surrounds it. The building bends, opens and narrows like a river carving its own path.




The form is clad in a single material, with vertical cedar slats of varying width and thickness placed in an open-work manner. The building’s weatherproofing is assured beneath the spaced slats, which allows to conceal the various flashing, drip edges, and trims usually visible on the exterior of traditional wood structures. The surface reads instead like a wooden palisade that follows the shape of the building and
into which openings have been cut out.













With time, as the cedar slats fade and the trees and ground cover grow back in around the building,
architecture and nature will intermingle. Nature will also be invited to cover the building itself, thanks to its green roof. Seen from the rooftop study or the hill, the structure will blend into its natural environment.





Ad we approach the house, we see the tall palisade opening up to let us in.




Upon entering, an imposing piece of furniture made of hickory wood welcomes us. Its shape offers a place to sit and storage for clothing. This then directs us to the living area, a large and bright space that culminates, at its east end, in a cantilevered screened room with a view of the mouth of the stream and the lake. On the south side, the exterior wall makes way for a large glazed surface that opens onto the forest. The materials used for the surfaces are clean and simple. The white walls and polished concrete
floors contrast with the rugged natural surroundings, allowing the scenery outside to take centre stage.




The large open space houses three wooden objects. Three pieces of furniture arranged on an axis that invites us into this sequence of spaces from the entry, thru the living area all the way to the screened room. Made of hickory, these built-in units include the storage and bench unit in the entrance, the kitchen island, and a television and sound system cabinet. Their functions are barely legible, allowing them to remain as abstract as possible in order to emphasize only their form, material, and relationship to one another. The kitchen island is in the center of the space, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding






The large wooden built-in unit in the entrance also acts as a screen for the more private areas of the home. Tucked in behind the ample wooden structure is the access to the bedrooms, as well as the staircase that leads to the reading room atop the green roof. Upstairs, the wood-panelled space offers a
quiet retreat from the rest of the house.








1- General Contractor
Léonald Goyette (514) 882-3226


2- Exterior siding
Eastern cedar slats of varied width and thicknesses. The slats do not have any finish; they will fade over the time and become grey naturally.
– Producer: Écocèdre
– Installer: general contractor







3- Roof
Elastomeric membrane and Green roof system.
– Products: Soprema
– Installer: Toits Vertige
– Roof landscaping: Toits Vertige


4- Exterior windows, doors and screens for the screened porch
Aluminium frames. Finish clear anodized.
– Produced and installed by Alum ilex



5- Concrete floors
Polished concrete with water radiant heat system integrated.
– Polished concrete floors by Atelier B


6- Engineered hickory wood floor
At second-floor reading room only.
– Provided by Barwood Pilon
– Installed by general contractor

7- Hickory stairs
– Steps provided by Boiseries Milles-Iles
– Installed by general contractor


8- Millwork
Integrated furniture and wall panelling made with veneer and massiveHickory wood.
– Designed by Paul Bernier Architecte
– Produced and installed by Pixel & scie