Bedroom top in the shape of a cabin boat for sailors by Paul Bernier Architecte

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The Canadian studio Paul Bernier Architecte made a chalet for a couple of sailing enthusiasts, shaping their upstairs bedroom with a rounded silhouette reminiscent of a boat.


The project is located on the shores of Lac des Deux-Montagnes, a popular sector for sailing and water sports near Montreal. Although it is called a lake, this body of water is formed by the convergence of the St-Laurent and Outaouais rivers.

A cantilevered roof provides shelter outside the building

The one-bedroom building is made up of a common ground floor and an upstairs owner’s suite in a separate volume. According to the architects, the irregular shape of the ground floor was dictated by the lot’s floodplain and other zoning controls.

“The site presented a major challenge,” said Paul Bernier Architecte. “A very small area was located outside the centennial flood line, which must be kept intact according to planning regulations,” the studio added.

Lounge area in chalet
Interiors are simple, with sliding glass doors letting in plenty of light

The irregular contours of the building have the effect of opening up the view of the lake and consists of sliding glass walls which extend the living space towards a patio.

An overhanging roof provides some shelter around the perimeter of the building and serves as a platform for the upper floor. This level contains a small living room, a bathroom and the master bedroom.

Boat shaped cottage
The chalet has a view of the Deux-Montagnes lake

“It creates a large veranda sheltered from the rain and protects a terrace at the back which juts out onto the land like a dock on the lake”, specifies Paul Bernier Architecte. “This roof is covered with a green roof [sic] and a terrace accessible from the master bedroom, offering a view of the lake. ”

The elliptical shape of the upstairs level gives the lodge its nickname “the boat in the trees”. The master bedroom is located at one end of the curved volume and is surrounded by windows offering panoramic views of nature and the nearby waterfront.

“Inside, the bedroom occupies the bow of this boat, with its series of steel columns supporting the roof and offering a bird’s eye view of the lake and the sunset,” said Paul Bernier Architecte.

“Seen from the quiet street in front of the property, the unusual shape of the chalet intrigues passers-by and enlivens the neighborhood.”

Boat shaped room
The boat-shaped bedroom opens onto a green roof and a small terrace

The interiors employ a limited palette that architects qualify as “minimalist”. The floor of the whole house is exposed concrete and the wooden slatted surfaces contrast with the white painted walls.

Paul Bernier founded his eponymous firm in 1999 and is based in Montreal. Other lakeside homes complemented by the studio include a home that combines blackened wood with weathered steel, and a rustic log cabin to which the architects added an upper story.

The photography is by Raphaël Thibodeau.


Project credits:

Architecture Team: Paul Bernier, Anick Thibeault, Alexandre Bernier, Francis Martel-Labrecque
Structural engineer: Alain Mousseau (Calculatec)


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