Historic Home is Both Preserved and Modernized

Built in 1890, the historic LeJeune Residence in the Plateau-Mont-Royal Borough of Montreal, Canada went through a transformation that required, by law, to preserve the original architectural elements of the façade. The clients, meanwhile, were looking for a modern home and hired Architecture Open Form to address the challenge.

The art- and architecture-loving clients had previously renovated homes on their own, but this time decided to hire an architect to design a space that would reflect their taste and minimalist lifestyle. The fragile existing building came as a duplex and the clients purchased it with the idea of turning it into a single family home with open living spaces. They also wanted to respect the historic charm of the 125-year-old building.


The existing façade was removed and brought back to wood siding that was originally on the house. They were also required to restore the wooden cornice and the solid pine windows. The original architectural components were restored and then stained black, which satisfied the preservation requirements.


The interior, done in collaboration with Christian Bélanger Design, is relatively small at 835 square feet, so they focused on making the most of the space they had to work with. It was important to the clients to have an open living space that flowed to the backyard seamlessly as they spend lots of time outside during the warmer months, The rear wall was removed and replaced with a 13-foot wide, floor-to-ceiling sliding door giving the illusion of more space.







A light fixture hangs in the double-height entryway and doubles as a sculpture that welcomes visitors.





Photos by Adrien Williams, courtesy of v2com.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.