- Sustainable Architecture
- Le Jardinier, sustainable residential complex in Montreal by DHOC
Le Jardinier (“the Gardener”) is the name of this project in Montreal by Canadian architecture firm ADHOC with the developer Knightsbridge. This new multi-residential complex with 16 units is located on Rouville Street in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood and was developed as affordable housing for a mixed clientele. At the same time, the fine quality of the architecture allows it to blend into the neighbourhood and its surroundings.
The architectural challenge was no easy feat because the team had to bring together a number of requirements in an attractive, sustainable design response. The construction was built using quality materials and the units meet contemporary demands with a harmonious relationship that brings together the desire for daylight and engagement with the outdoors, and the need for privacy. In addition to this, the architects focused on the relationship with the neighbouring building on Sainte-Catherine Street. That building shares an emergency pathway to the street with the new complex. The architects gracefully resolved this site plan challenge through their simple intervention, which also influenced the rest of the project, from the building’s overall structural organisation to its envelope.
The front facade of Le Jardinier on Rouville Street remains modest and fits in perfectly with the urban and historical context, despite its obvious modern touches. The colour of the bricks and the overall dimensions of the building embody a contextual sensitivity, complete with a modern cornice of inset bricks that hints at Montreal’s older homes. The interplay of deep-inset loggia balconies punctuates the façade, giving the building a push-pull rhythm and creating a checkerboard pattern that is very common in the Sainte-Catherine Street heritage buildings. The loggias and courtyard balconies are also framed with wood cladding that adds warmth and texture to the facade. The light metal staircases provide access to unit entrances and are another reference to the typical architectural language of Montreal.
To respond to the project requirements to offer a peaceful oasis for the occupants and to meet the needs of a society that is increasingly close to its environment, the emphasis of Le Jardinier is on a vibrant green space and on sustainability. Quebecers enjoy gardening, so garden beds were integrated into the courtyard for vegetables, a rarity in the Hochelaga borough and in Montreal in general. This also gave the complex its name. The architects incorporated greenery in the terraces at the top by including raised garden boxes that double as guard rails. This means that all the residents can enjoy and have access to green spaces.
In keeping with sustainability guidelines, the project also encourages active and alternative transport by providing a bicycle parking and storage area at the entrance and a garage for Communauto (car sharing), accessible to all residents.
The project was recognised by the Urban development institute of Quebec (IDU) with a 2018 INOVA award (multi-residential category) for all the attention paid to urban planning and the environment; Le Jardinier was also awarded LEED® Platinum certification.
Project: ADHOC - http://adhoc-architectes.com
Location: Montreal, Canada
Images: Maxime BrouilletI