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Maison historique Arts & Crafts à Westmount
Addition to a heritage home

Category I building, Westmount

maison construite en 1928 avec ajout en arrière de 1947

The original house is known to have been designed in 1928 by architect Norton Alexander Fellowes for his father and builder John Baker Fellowes.  From the street the building reads as a single volume with stone walls and a steeply pitched roof framed with two chimneys at either side, one of which is functional and one decorative. At the back the house contains a secondary lower volume set at a right
angle which is built with the same materials but simpler details.

The house has undergone some changes over the years with the most apparent being the addition of a brick volume at the South-West corner by the second owner of the house in 1947. This volume and its fenestration has in turn been modified and a new deck terrace has been constructed at some later time.

The current owners of the house wished to construct a new addition to the house,
in place of the one that was constructed in 1947, to meet the needs of their growing family, as they were expecting a fourth child and were caring for their elderly parents who have moved in with them permanently.

Model of the existing situation

maquette architectural 3d de la maison et son contexte

Model of the surrounding context

Evolution of Concept

Volumetric Study

maquette volumétrique 3D de la maison existante
maquette volumétrique 3D de la maison originale
maquette volumétrique 3D de l'ajout proposé

Original volume

dating from 1928

Existing volume

with the addition dating from 1947

Proposed volume

Submitted to the CCU

We were lucky to have found a stack of spare original roof tiles in the garage of the house, with the manufacture’s stamp on the rear side, indicating this to be a terra cotta clay tile produced by Ludowici Celadon Co. - which still exists!  The manufacturer sent us a series of tiles made of different clay which allowed us to identify the one that best matched the existing roof for the required repairs.  Roof work was required in order to enlarge the existing dormer to accommodate a new French door in place of the small window on the rear elevation and, given the age of the house, the valleys and flashings around the chimneys needed to be replaced.

toiture de tuiles de terra-cotta
échantillons de tuiles de terra-cotta de couleurs variées
l'endos d'une tuile avec étape du manufacturier

Sample of coloured granite

from quarry in Brownsburg, Québec

granit vert foncé

Sample of silica stone

from quarry in Hemmingford, Québec

pierre de silice jaune

Sample of coloured granite

from quarry in Brownsburg, Québec

granit rouge foncé

Sample of grey limestone

from quarry in Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Québec

pierre Saint-Marc

Existing wall in cut stone

mix of grey limestone and coloured granite

mur de pierre

With the assistance of a natural stone distributor Centre de Pierres Mirabel, we composed a palette of stones to match the existing walls: a mix of granite in shades of dark yellow, red and green colors from the Brownsburg quarry, silica stone from Hemmingford and Saint-Marc stone for the cornerstones.  We were pleasantly surprised when we subsequently found historical documents in the archives of the Canadian Center for Architecture that included notes by the sister of architect Norton Alexander Fellowes and which confirmed that the Brownsburg quarry, located near Lachute, Quebec, is the actual source of colored granite on the original house.

maison "Arts and Crafts" avec ajout de volumes en terrasses

Sometimes the architectural solution that is retained can be surprising. We started the project with the hypothesis that an addition of a single volume with a sloping roof would be the most respectful solution to the existing building. Ultimately, the more delicate proposal that was approved consists of two volumes with flat roofs, which form cascading terraces to link the building to its garden, in the spirit of the Arts and Crafts philosophy of the original house .


The details, such as the cornice with the brick corbelling and the repetition of the  door module, make a link with the architectural language of the existing house, even if the project is of its time and reads as being distinct from the "L" shape of the original house.

The initial ideas of ​​the project - to enlarge the volume of the house so that it serves the needs of a bi-generational family, to create terraces to be able to better enjoy the outdoor spaces, and to bring as much light as possible to the southwest corner of the house - is still there.

Model of the proposal

Élévation arrière de l'ajout proposé

Rear elevation with the proposed addition

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