Located at the extreme edge of a coveted Montreal neighbourhood, the design of the U House responds to a harsh urban context, respectfully shutting out the outside world by concentrating services around the periphery.
Space along the inside of the U is thus liberated and attention is focused towards the inner core. Constructed with the precision of fine cabinetry, the articulated panels of wood, glass and steel that line the courtyard open and close to invite the outside in and the inside out with seasonal regularity.
A large Sunburst Honey Locust was planted the day after the foundations were poured to provide shade to the largely fenestrated south facing façade during the hot summer months. Its acid yellow foliage in early spring inspired the accent color found throughout the interior.
house of night
The U-House was designed by architect Natalie Dionne to house both the family residence and her office space. Along with her partner, who works in cinema, she drew plans and began construction in 2003. Originally, the couple bought a small industrial building and a rare vacant lot adjacent to it. The U plan was achieved by adding two additions to the original building, one at each end of the vacant lot.
Postmodern houses have many of these features:
Sense of “anything goes”: Forms filled with humor, irony, ambiguity, contradiction
Juxtaposition of styles: Blend of traditional, contemporary, and newly-invented forms
Exaggerated or abstract traditional detailing
Materials or decorations drawn from far away sources