A Montréal House with a Flipped Floor Plan
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Thomas Balaban Architecte (TBA) designed this Montréal home located in an up and coming neighborhood in the southwest part of the city. Named the Holy Cross House, it was important that the firm designed a house that fit within the context of its surroundings while at the same time, resulting in a contemporary space for the homeowners.


Light was a concern due to the nature of the narrow lot. With that in mind, they flipped the floor plan to put the living spaces on the top floor and the private spaces below. This ensured that the most used spaces would benefit from direct light throughout the day. They also managed to maintain privacy.


The home is outfitted with radiant concrete floors that help regulate the temperature when it fluctuates outside.


The kitchen is designed around two elements – the massive, heat-treated, dark chocolate stained, white oak island and wall of cabinets. The rich color is a nice juxtaposition to the light grey floors and white walls.



At the home’s core is a staggered central courtyard that helps funnel light to the lowest level. Each of the rooms has access to the outdoor space. The open courtyard also helps with natural ventilation.


Floor to ceiling windows let light in while providing a theatrical quality to the space that lets the homeowners be aware of everyone’s movements in the house.





The bathrooms are quite dramatic with dark, graphic tones and sleek white elements.





Photos by Adrien Williams, courtesy of

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director 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.