St.Donat is a rural area near Montreal that is often visited as a popular weekend getaway. Montreal-based studio ACDF Architecture designed a low-rise modern home that would wrap around an apple tree and provide a view of it throughout the living area. The beautiful home features an all black exterior and was built to create and enhance a deeper connection with nature.
Designer: ACDF Architecture
“The owner has vivid childhood memories of growing up in an orchard environment. The apple tree was symbolic of his earliest encounters with nature as a child and of the continuity of that connection years later when he was picking apples with his own children,” said ACDF
The main attraction of the project is a small courtyard with an apple tree placed in it and the fact that the house surrounds it with its square shape. The apple tree reminds the customer of his childhood! The entire house is characterized by glass walls that allow views of the tree and other living areas from different positions and angles. The clear and surreal view of the courtyard has been integrated to create a sense of connection with the natural surroundings of the place.
The house has three bedrooms located in opaque volumes with black wood paneling. One volume houses the children’s rooms and the second volume contains the master bedroom. The primary bedroom shares space with a separate lounge area that acts as a secondary living room. The third volume includes the garage and service areas.
“The house is designed for connectivity, and views in all directions offer views across openings to other rooms. That being said, the boxes were designed to respect the need for privacy and their placement on the walls is intentional to offer solitude,” said ACDF Architects.
The interiors are very minimalist and subtle. The ceilings are clad in wooden slats, making the living spaces feel warm and inviting. The floors have been made of polished concrete, which is an interesting contrast to the all-black exterior of the house. “The primary focus is on the beauty of the great outdoors, evolving through four seasons and framed by the full transparency of the Apple Tree House’s glass walls,” said ACDF. Even the furniture placed throughout the home is fairly neutral, with most featuring wood finishes, simple lines, and a muted color palette.