Notre-Dame de Grace is an inner-city Montreal neighbourhood known for its detached cottages and row houses. Built in the first half of the twentieth century, these simple brick structures are completed on their public face by galleries, porches and bay-windows and form homogenous streetscapes of significant heritage value. The neighbourhood’s narrow street frontages generate a great variety of vertical masonry planes and volumes.
Monkland House uses this tradition of vertical masonry planes to organize its massing strategy. The house is a composition of two rectangular volumes: a black brick box contains the front entry and circulation spaces and a red brick box houses the main living areas. The public faces of the house are expressed as the open ends of these boxes while the closed sides create privacy. Generous masonry frames open on the street and the garden while the lateral walls are largely opaque.
The overlapping of the two volumes in the interior of the house creates a void at the back facing the garden. Lit from above by skylights and linking circulation, living, kitchen, and dining areas, this space is the focus of family life. Orientation, views, and movement are all organised around this double-height space.