“At first, I wanted a log cabin.”
Owner, 2001

“…an organic entity that reflects its environment.”
Pierre Thibault, architect, 2001

“The architectural quality of the Villa du Lac du Castor emerges from skilful detailing coupled with an innovative use of form, structure, and materials.”
Prof. Ricardo L. Castro, Canadian Architect, May 2001, p. 27

“This exceptional work of architect Pierre Thibault has been compared to Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye as one searches vaguely for a reference to qualify this singular construction, which has received an award of excellence from the Ordre des architectes du Québec.”
Ambiance, March-April 2003

The Villa du Lac du Castor, built in 1999 and completed in June 2000, is a home that offers 250 square meters of living space. It houses three bedrooms, an upper floor office that is also a library, a two-floor living room at the heart of which towers a fireplace built from indigenous stones, a bright modern kitchen that looks onto the lake, a dining area, and two full bathrooms and a powder room. The two-car garage (53 square meters) is also a workshop and the many storage areas (200 square meters) are highly practical and could easily be transformed into new living spaces. The Villa has an extended covered veranda (38 square meters), which provides comfortable access to the natural surroundings. Another veranda (125 square meters) covered by the roof, surrounds part of the house.

The Villa is a wood structure (beams, glulam columns, and solid wood) that rests on a concrete base. The exterior is essentially composed of cedar planks, spruce billets, and glass. The residence was also designed with an integrated home control system.

The Villa is composed of four units, each with different functions, set along an interior corridor with tree-like pillars, reminiscent of a walk through the forest. This passageway constitutes the backbone of the project, linking the various rooms and highlighting the continuity between the interior and the exterior. The juxtaposition of volumes underscores this connection, providing different views and framing the distinctive elements of the landscape. Despite these controlled offsets, the openings chiefly point southwest, fostering the entry of natural light and direct views onto the lake, while the four roofs serve as large sunshades, screening the rays that filter through the Villa.

pdfPlans and additional information

The Villa du Lac du Castor, an interpretation of the boreal refuge, consecrates its environmental sensibility.

 “The shape of the openings, the direction of the sidings, and the natural finishes that have been kept on most of the materials are all instances that highlight the exactness and sensibility of this home that showcases the landscape.” Dubois Martin (dir.) Architecture, habitat et espace vital au Québec, 100 maisons contemporaines, Les Publications du Québec, 2006, Québec, p. 191.

Elements of interest around the home

Around the dwelling, the Villa’s owner has placed several works of art that seamlessly blend into the surrounding natural setting. There are sculptures by Jacques Dansereau and a piece of environmental art donated by architect Pierre Thibault that was once on the grounds of the Musée des Beaux-arts de Québec and which is now a bridge between the two shores of a small bay lying less than thirty meters from the Villa. This wooden structure harks back to the traditional log house and, without floors or foundations, it encircles a water garden. Another work by Pierre Thibault stands on the road that leads to the Villa. It is a structure that is reminiscent of the houses’ architectural features and on which sections of black canvas are in constant motion, blown by the wind.

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