In Montreal’s Little Italy neighbourhood, Henri Cleinge’s house turns the neat trick of simultaneously standing out and fitting in. And that was exactly this owner-architect’s intent.
“I chose a mixed-use neighbourhood where residential duplexes co-exist with small to mid-size industrial buildings,” said Henri about the striking 3,200-square-foot concrete duplex that he built in 2011 on a former parking lot. “I love the area. It’s near the Jean Talon Market and doesn’t have the same building constraints as the gentrified Plateau, or older neighbourhoods like Westmount.”
The good burghers of Westmount and even the arts crowd on the Plateau might be taken aback if they saw Henri’s ruggedly minimalist, multi-level modular structure. Then again, they might recognize that its clean modern lines, light-filled spaces and disciplined mash-up of wood, steel, glass and humble concrete are an example of home construction elevated to an art form.