February 1, 2023

St.Donat is a rural area near Montreal that is often frequented as a popular getaway destination for the weekends. Montreal-based studio ACDF Architecture designed a low-slung contemporary home that was designed to wrap around an apple tree and provides views of it throughout the living space. The beautiful home features an all-black exterior and was built to create and enhance a deeper connection with nature.

Designer: ACDF Architecture

“The owner embraced vivid childhood memories of growing up in an orchard environment. The apple tree was symbolic of his earliest encounters with nature as a child, and of the continuity of that connection years later while picking apples with his own children,” said ACDF

The star attraction of the project is a small courtyard with an apple tree placed in it and the fact that the house surrounds it with its square-like form. The apple tree reminds the client of his childhood! The entire home is marked by glass walls that provide visions of the tree, and other living areas from different positions and angles. The clear and surreal view of the courtyard was incorporated to create a sense of connection with the natural settings of the site.

The home features three bedrooms that are located in opaque volumes with black wood cladding. One volume houses the children’s bedrooms, and the second volume holds the primary bedroom. The primary bedroom shares space with a separate lounge area which functions as a secondary living room. The third volume includes the garage and service areas.

“The home is designed for connectivity, and glances in every direction provide views across openings to other spaces. That being said, the boxes were designed to respect the need for privacy, and their wall placements are intentional in their offerings of solitude,” said ACDF architects.

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The interiors are quite minimal and subtle. The ceilings are lined with wooden battens, making the living spaces feel warm and welcoming. The floors have been created from polished concrete, which is an interesting contrast to the all-black exterior of the home. “The main focal point is the beauty of the great outdoors, evolving through four seasons, and framed by the full transparency of the Apple Tree House’s glass walls,” said ACDF. Even the furniture placed in the home is quite neutral, with most of it featuring wooden finishing, simple lines, and a muted color palette.