Earth-Rooted Architecture: MG2 Residence by Quebec Firm Alain Carle Architecte
The MG2 residence’s occupancy program has been fragmented into four pavilions, according to an organic plan, freeing a central space that looks completely outward. A little like the “heart of a village”, this space links the other building bodies, geometrically distinct from each other. The materials were largely recycled: the interior and exterior wall claddings come from an abandoned sawmill, and the paving stones were recovered from an old quarry. The house faces south to allow a passive energy gain which, combined with a geothermal system, ensures overall energy efficiency.
The most southerly pavilion contains the living room, the more social spaces of the residence, and opens generously to the outdoors so as to offer a greater energy gain during the winter. The volume is open, with very little programmatic hierarchy. It essentially combines the functions related to meal preparation in all the aspects that bring people together.
The other wings, more dedicated to sleeping areas, leave room for generous water spaces for bodily relaxation. Dry and wet saunas and big showers punctuate the spaces of these volumes and give the premises a “lived-in” look and feel.
One last volume, accommodating work places on two levels, is located away from the home’s living areas, separated by a protective outdoor space. This volume stands out for its somewhat symmetrical form, with a peaked roof, and is positioned upstream from the rest of the building to play the role of “guest wing” for visitors who sometimes come for business. Finally, the lower floor accommodates a work zone, a maintenance and do-it-yourself workshop.
This is an earth-rooted architecture. The form emerges from the soil and its organicness refers to our rural traditions rather than modernist canons.
Architecture by Alain Carle Architecte
Project name: MG2 Residence
Project location: Domaine Lac St Victor Estates , Wentworth North, Quebec, Canada
Year of completion: Summer 2015
All photos by James Brittain