Draper Plex

First developed in the nineteenth century, the plex type is an urban housing form unique to Montreal.  Stacked vertically on narrow lots, each unit has a street-related entry and stairways are found on the perimeter and exterior of the buildings.  Variations of the type include contiguous, semi-detached or detached buildings, the two-storey duplex and the three-storey triplex.  Clad in brick and stone, these low-rise wood frame structures are the basic fabric of Montreal’s urban neighbourhoods, creating surprisingly high densities and elegant transitions between private, semi-private and public domains.

A detached brick structure located in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace district, the Draper Plex is a contemporary reinterpretation of the historic plex type.  The project assesses the potential of the historic type as a renewable model and updates and adjusts it to reflect new urban lifestyles.

Three condominium units, each with their own street-related entry, are stacked vertically in the manner of a classic triplex. Bathrooms and kitchens are considerably larger than those found in classic plex units.  Technologies not available to the builders of classic plexes, such as long-span engineered wood trusses and lightweight concrete, permit innovations such as open-planned living areas and acoustically controlled separations between units.  Space opens vertically as well as horizontally in the Draper Plex:  the insertion of a mezzanine with a gently curved roof creates a dramatic double-height space in the upper unit.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Twin Private Residences
Richard Dufour
Affleck de la Riva architects
Design Architect
Richard de la Riva
Project Architect
Richard de la Riva
Project Team
Léic Godbout, Suzanne Gagnon
Structural Engineer
D.L. Turner Consultants