Jean Verville facilitates a family's everyday life in the brightest colours
QUEBEC CITY – In a hemlock forest, between coniferous evergreen trees bearing needle-like leaves and small cones, stands a dream-like family home. For a young professional couple and their two children, architect Jean Verville created two houses wrapped into one: one for the parents and one for the toddlers.
Deducing from the colour scheme, the project is a mixture of two of Verville’s previous buildings: Paperwhite and Prismatic Colours. But that might be the only thing that is comparable on a general scale, the rest of the two buildings is perfectly accustomed to its inhabitants. A bland flight of stairs follows the landscape’s natural slope to lead the visitor to the ground floor, where he arrives directly on a large concrete-floored and cantilevered terrace – the main entrance into the house. The living area’s walls are all made of glass, connecting the raw forest with a very domestic setting. After a few steps more, a bright red corridor leads to the first perched volume, the toddlers’ area with a spacious built-in bunk bed and a second miniature door. The child-friendly room is safely contained between the wooden warmth of pulse tilts.
Around the corner, a white staircase accesses the parents’ area, which is dominated by simple shapes and the natural contrast between white, wood and black. The bathroom mirrors the bedroom, with both sharing the same view of lush trees. Verville’s graphic attitude and mindfully happy use of colours brings to mind Dominique Coulon’s school projects, but the house is so successfully individual that it defeats comparison.
The room which speaks to the idea behind the house most is the family shower room. It facilitates the family’s everyday reality effortlessly, making the parents’ and children’s lives together less complicated. White rectangular tiles with dark grey joints and black fittings reflect the emphasis on geometry and contrast, which is interrupted by forest-facing windows that let the whole colour range of sky and nature brightly flood into the room.
Verville is purportedly a big advocate of the architectural promenade, the concept of a choreographed pathway through built space. At Fahouse, the idea becomes reality by providing experiences and determining the way in which spatial characteristics unfold their meaning.