Just as we use our hands to frame views, shade the sun, bend our ears, cut the wind or block the view, the proposed architecture allows for the modulation of the interaction of the buildings with the environment.

Project: Cabins in Lac-Saint-Jean – Master plan and concept for 15 tourist cabins
Studio Name: Architecturama
Client: Val-Jalbert Regional Park Corporation
Program: Overall plan and concept for 15 tourist cottages
Design Team: Sylvain Bilodeau, Nicolas Mathieu-Tremblay
Area: cabins 7665 p2 (12 x 485 pi2 + 3 x 615 pi2), overall site: 100 000 pi2
Year: 2019
Location: Val-Jalbert regional park, Chambord, Saguennay-Lac-St-Jean, Quebec, Canada
Drawings and images credits: Architecturama, Les Maîtres d’Oeuvre
Collaborators: Les Maîtres d’Oeuvre, Hovington et Gauthier architects
FINALIST PROJECT – architectural competition organized by the Val-Jalbert Regional Park Corporation

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The site is located on a plateau overlooking the Lac St-Jean and the mouth of the Ouiatchouan River. The groups of cottages are located along winding paths. Their form and layout blend with the landscape and the morphology of the land. The roofs rise towards the view and echo the small hills that are created to give privacy to the entrances and protect them from the wind.

Each cottage is composed of two simple 10’x 22′ boxes placed side by side. By rotating one of them by 20 degrees, a central funnel shaped space is created which becomes its heart. This intimate and protected space captures the landscape and propels the viewer into it. This center is a visual opening that seizes the visitor upon arrival and dematerializes the architecture through a perspective effect that adds up all the views on the lake.

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This “in-between-space” that traverses the building is conceived in the spirit of a veranda or a screened porch. It blurs the boundaries between inside and outside. The 4 identical glass doors that encircle the space allow the desired degree of openness to be modulated and to remain protected from mosquitoes. It is the place where, in any season, one eats, discusses, plays cards while soaking up the light and the place in all tranquility. The open kitchen area with its island on wheels is flexible. Sliding panels close off the rooms. All the furniture is integrated and hung on the structure.

The structure is entirely exposed and composed of standard wood studs and plywood. The roof trusses give the cottages their personality with custom patterns cut with CNC digital tools. The materials used, the simplicity of the forms and the repetition make these constructions affordable.

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Architecturama is a small architectural firm based in Montreal and founded in 2012 by Sylvain Bilodeau and Nicolas Mathieu-Tremblay.

They have been working together for several years on various creative projects focused on architecture and exploring buildings, spaces and artistic installations. Inspired by the way people occupy and perceive their environment, the architectural duo manipulates programs, places and ideas to try to create more relevant and high-quality buildings and objects. The direct experience of materials and geometry, whether poor or rich, unusual, or traditional, remains central to the development of their architectural projects.

The duo is sensitive to the field of influence provided by a context, may it be artistic, architectural, literary, musical, geographical, social, environmental, urban, physical, temporal and so forth. Their creative process involves a sampling of this field of influences that is filtered through conceptual, sensorial, psychosocial and pragmatic filters. A composition from an assembly of form and materials emerges and these physical geometries, through their material and tectonic properties for which they are chosen, are the expression of this sampling. Architecturama doesn’t hesitate and to strive for the unexpected, the unsuspected, the strange, the particular, the offbeat, the courage of originality and intellectual and conceptual autonomy.

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They use experimentation and research to develop a practice that integrates the perceptual aspects of architecture, particularly sound. Many of their projects explore the affinities between art and architecture and many are the result of close collaborations with contemporary artists.

Since 2012 the firm has carried out various projects for public and private clients. It has participated in numerous design competitions, has been a finalist in many of them and has won a few.  It has been awarded several awards and mentions, including the Grand Prix du Design (Quebec), Best of Canada Design Competition (Canada), Muse Design Award (International), American Architecture Prize (International) and the AZ Awards (International). Architecturama has also distinguished itself as a finalist in several awards, including the Prix d’excellence en architecture of the Ordre des architectes du Québec, the CISC’s Steel Construction Award of Excellence, the Prix Cecobois, as well as by obtaining architectural research grants from the Quebec Art Council.


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