locust trees and ornamental
grasses soften the two-lot-wide exterior that blends
brick, Corten steel, slate and
anodized aluminum window
frames. Brick, Sioux City and
Endicott; windows, Solarcan.
A MONTREAL COUPLE
TRANSFORMS A DILAPIDATED
WORKSHOP INTO A
SLEEK LIVE/WORK SPACE.
Text by Lisa Murphy
Photography by Angus McRitchie
Natalie Dionne learned that the
workshop-home of a former teacher
and boss, the late sculptor Pierre
Granche, was available for sale, she
quickly sketched her dream plan on
a napkin. “I had just discovered I was
pregnant and I needed a nest,” she says.
As it turned out, those creative instincts
were solid. “That was pretty much what
we built,” says her partner, Martin
Laneuville, who also trained as an
architect, but now works in film. “It was
a five-minute design!” But the actual
transformation of the long, rectangular
mixed-use building and its adjacent lot
was anything but hasty. With a budget
of about $400,000 for the purchase and
reno — doing most of the work
themselves — they built a 700-square-
foot addition at the front of the existing
structure and a 500-square-foot one at
the back, creating the unique shape
that’s earned it the name “U House.”
For more loft decorating ideas, tour
design editor Stacy Begg’s Toronto condo.
Click Video at Houseandhome.com.