Future Simple Studio creates family apartment within historic Montreal building

Bedrooms are enclosed within a pair of wood and glass boxes in this renovated apartment in Montreal designed by Canadian architecture office Future Simple Studio.

The unit is located in a 100-year-old heritage building near the city’s Old Port district. Designed by Montreal-based  Future Simple Studio, the project is named after the street upon which it is located – Rue de la Gauchetière.

Future Simple Studio renovated the apartment
Rue de la Gauchetière apartment is in Montreal

The design team was charged transforming a 172-square-metre apartment with a closed floor plan into a more contemporary and fluid space with private areas for sleeping. The project was designed for a couple with a toddler and a dog.

In addition to maximising space and creating an environment suitable for family living, the aim was to celebrate the building’s industrial roots. The team stripped away finishes, tore down interior walls and essentially started from scratch.

Future Simple Studio is a local firm
Wood-framed boxes define a pair of bedrooms

For the organisation of the apartment, the designer’s solution is based on the concept of a box within a box. A pair of wood-framed structures with tempered glass walls house two bedrooms.

“At once object and architecture, the bedroom is crafted as a bespoke kit of parts including everything from ceiling panels and mullions, to flooring and furniture,” the firm said.

The parents’ bedroom has an open corner, while the kid’s room has sliding doors.

Glazed walls are covered with automated shades that enhance privacy. Two types of shades were used – a vinyl blackout version and a sheerer version made of woven fabric.

“The shades are operated remotely and can be opened or closed all at once or individually to allow inhabitants to customise their experience,” the team said.

Rue de la Gauchetière is the name of the apartment's street
The apartment is in a 100-year-old building

Arranged around the sleeping volumes are distinct areas for cooking, dining and lounging. The unit also contains one bathroom and a study — along with pockets of space that can be used for painting and exercising.

The material palette is meant to feel elemental and tactile.

Future Simple Studio designed Rue de la Gauchetière
The kitchen is in an open-plan living space

Ceilings are exposed concrete, while the flooring is concrete with a water-based epoxy coating. Mirrored surfaces on certain walls help make the unit feel more expansive.

Walnut plywood was used for the bedroom volumes, which is meant to complement the earthy tones in the building’s original brick walls.

Future Simple Studio defined the project as boxes within boxes
Bedrooms are positioned alongside each other

The kitchen features an island-style bar with a granite countertop. The bar is lined with Form stools from Normann Copenhagen.

The dining area is fitted with an oak table designed by Future Simple Studio, and Nord chairs from Atelier Vaste. Suspended overhead is a chrome pendant by Gubi.

Rue de la Gauchetière's bedrooms have privacy screens
Automated shades enhance privacy in the apartment

In the living room next door there is a pale grey sofa by Element de Base and tubular armchairs from Atelier Vaste. An array of potted plants brings a touch of nature into the urban residence.

The bathroom is finished with grey tile flooring, along with ceramic and porcelain bath tiles sourced from Italy and Montreal.

Future Simple Studio chose dark colours for the interiors
A bar in the kitchen has a granite countertop

The vanity is made of laminate and concrete, and is paired with metal fixtures in a custom finish. Two slender mirrors are backlit by hidden LEDs.

Above the shower, the team created an illuminated shaft that evokes a skylight.

“The goal was to suggest the brightness and airiness of the sky within the bathroom through the constructed light,” Future Simple Studio said.

Future Simple Studio designed a moody grey bathroom
Grey tiles line the bathroom

Other apartments in Montreal include a black-and-white unit full of optical illusions by Jean Verville, and a unit by La Firme that features heated concrete flooring and a massive shower.

Photography is by Félix Michaud.

Project credits:

Future Simple Studio
Fabricators: Balux, F&Y Design, Stil Design