Canadian architects create the modern interpretation of the triplex

Le Borgne Rizk’s Notre Dame Project - Montreal, Canada

The 2020 project, Notre-Dame, designed by Montreal-based architectural firm, Le Borgne Rizk Architecture, offers a modern interpretation of the classic Montreal triplex with its two semi-attached residential, brick triplexes located in Montreal’s south-west district. The classic triplex is typically characterized by brick and external front staircases, which the firm redesigned to suit the atmosphere of the current city.

“We wanted the structure to blend into its surroundings, but without replicating everything simply for that purpose,”

says Amani Rizk, partner and co-founder of Le Borgne Rizk Architecture.

The external staircase is made of metal. The smooth texture of the metal contrasts with the brick body of the triplex’s, offering a tactile experience not just for those who rent the buildings, but for those that walk past the triplex every day. The landing is made using cedar finishes, which adds warmth to entrance areas that are typically cold and sterile.

“The new building acts as a semi-colon [between] the imposing residential complex and the rest of the street,” says the firm.

The brick latticework that conceals the upper staircases, landings and entrances is made using a honeycomb structure that was inspired from the Mashrabiya concept, an architectural element characteristic of Islamic design. This tactile feature offers a breath of fresh air into an otherwise flat street.
Furthermore, the triplexes are finished using the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban style, a burnt-wood treatment that preserves the wood by charring it with fire. This offers a striking visual element, whilst adding warmth to the overall building. Such a feature makes these units particularly attractive for singles or couples in their thirties that want the traditional infused with the modern.

Internal living spaces were designed to be high-end rental units. The spaces feature a simple and functional layout, with ground and second floor apartments featuring single bedrooms and small office spaces. A focus is made towards the back end of the units, which includes a large kitchen, living, and dining space. The third-floor units boast double-height ceilings, with integrated staircases that lead up to a spacious rooftop mezzanine. The mezzanines are set away from the street to increase privacy for the renter.

“With recognizable nods to classic design, unique reinterpretations, and infusions of ingenuity, Notre Dame has earned its place as a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and a testament to the creative thinking of Le Borgne Rizk,”

says the firm.

Taking influence from key architectural features and reinvigorating them, Notre-Dame has reinvigorated the neighborhood in a subtle manner, welcoming young couples to the area with its modern interpretation of the Montreal triplex.

Le Borgne Rizk Architecture

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