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Mystic spaces for creative lives
This Mystic, Quebec residence and art studio began as a cramped pale green cottage that barely measured 18 ft. by 30 ft. (5.5m x 9m). The challenge was to create comfortable new two-storey living quarters within the constraints of a tight lot and strict setback requirements. Built towards the rear of the property, facing the protected fields and forests of the Walbridge farm, the addition adds only 900 sq. ft. (84 m2) on the main floor level. An open, "U"-shaped layout, immediate visual access to outdoor living areas, and a luminous double-height space combine to create an experience of light, serenity and expansiveness.
The addition sits on a radiant-heat concrete slab with shallow foundation walls pinned to the solid bedrock just a few feet below grade. 3D computer modeling was used to fine-tune the scale of the addition, allowing its proportions to be adjusted from various perspectives. As often happens in additions to 19th-century structures, which were probably built from classic pattern books, it turned out that the most pleasing ratios resulted in the main facade being inscribed by a Golden Section.
The second level of the addition contains the new master bedroom, bath and home office. The art studio is on the street side, on the first level of the original cottage. It connects to the kitchen, dining and living room of the new wing where a 14 ft. (4.3m) tall window spans the south-facing double-height space. A deep west porch provides a place to enjoy sunsets while listening to the ripple of the nearby brook. Using the traditional hue of the famous 12-sided Walbridge barn, the dark red clapboard siding ties together the old and new.
First floor area: 1421 sq. ft. (132m2). Second floor area: 1165 sq. ft. (108.3m2)