Black Box II, Canada

Black Box II, Canada

Enlarged and Enhanced

Black Box II is the latest in a series of micro-additions that significantly impact existing buildings. Conceived as a giant jewelry box, large openings blur the boundary between interior and exterior, revealing its treasure of fine craftsmanship through the playful use of complementary surface materials.

This project is featured in the Swisspearl Architecture #27. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue or download the PDF from the download area on our website.

©Raphaël Thibodeau, Montreal, Canada

This semi-detached, red clay brick townhouse is typical of the architecture of Westmount and the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough of Montreal. Through the reconfiguration of outdated internal divisions and the grafting of two black volumes juxtaposed with the masonry, the pre-existing architecture is enhanced and transformed to better reflect the modern lifestyle and aspirations of its inhabitants.

The Black Box II addition to the existing masonry house is clad in large-format, black Swisspearl fiber cement panels finely assembled with matching rivets. The balustrade of the loggia is a single, large perforated Swisspearl panel. In contrast, ochre-colored wood and light ceramics embellish the interior. Large windows fold open to incorporate the garden into the home, and interior and exterior materials interact to connect the various spaces. Inside, walls and ceiling are clad in oak wood paneling, while the exterior alcove is clad in horizontal bands of western red cedar. The slate slab stones of the terrace contrast strongly with the fine ceramic of the kitchen floor. Incorporating the heritage of the past, the original oak floor of the dining room was preserved and restored, setting the tone for the interiors. The solid oak kitchen island demarcates the open plan kitchen and dining spaces, standing as a kind of altar to daily rituals. More sober, white and black furniture and cabinetry aresituated at the perimeter.

©Raphaël Thibodeau, Montreal, Canada

This project is an excellent example of architecture that recognizes the collaboration between the architect, the builders, and the owners, all actively involved in the search for quality, both technical and aesthetic. The art of architecture manifests itself here in all its dimensions. We always strive to strike the right balance between new and old in order to create a coherent whole, preserving the authenticity of the existing details, while affirming the contemporary spirit of our interventions.


House Extension Black Box II


4707 Avenue Roslyn, Montreal, Canada


Natalie Dionne Architecture, Montreal, Canada
Natalie Dionne, Martin Laneuville, Ariane Côté-Bélisle, Corinne Deleers


Raphaël Thibodeau, Montreal, Canada


Building period


Façade material
Swisspearl Largo Reflex Black Velvet 9221


PDF project sheet
Click here to download the project sheet

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