DESIGNER ALEXANDRE LAFLEUR TRANSFORMS A PARTY-READY PIED-À-TERRE INTO A PRACTICAL RESIDENCE FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR, WITH A PENTHOUSE VIEW TO MATCH.
It’s the windows. The half-moon, single pane, factory iron windows that bathe the loft in ethereal light. Or is it the art? The curated collection of up-and-coming Canadian artists that would paint any connoisseur green. I can’t decide, and frankly, there is no need to. I’m standing in Alexandre Lafleur’s most recent design project: a 3,500 sq. ft. penthouse loft in a heritage industrial building in Montreal’s Old Port. Lafleur, 27, is selftaught, specializing in luxury condo design with several high-profile projects already under his belt. A minimalist approach puts emphasis on the varying textures and tones of hard materials for a result that is truly unique. “I always listen to a space. In a building such as this, respecting the industrial heritage is of the utmost importance. I enhance without disturbing, or compromising integrity. I take my cues from that.”
“It all started with the art,” says Lafleur. With colourful works by Patricia Morris, Patrick Pépin and Annie Labbé in place, Lafleur set about designing his own work of art––a stylish masterpiece of spatial reorganization. With a select pairing of primary materials––walnut, marble––and a delicate balance of natural and bold finishes, the loft was subdivided from an open to a utilitarian concept, each space with a unique focal point.
In the entrance hall, walnut closets and dark colours create immediate drama. Around the corner: a magnificently lit open kitchen and living space. Walnut doors are carried throughout in the form of cabinetry and furniture, while touches of black––appliances, iron doors and a fabulous freestanding fireplace (previously removed)––add striking contrast. The matchbook marble backsplash, cut specifically for the space, carries Rorschach-ian oomph as the kitchen’s centerpiece, twinned beautifully by a custom Anaka chandelier above a walnut dining table, also custom. The same marble is found on the walk-around fireplace, as well as in the office, closed off by 10-foot iron French doors. The dining space, double living room, and sitting room are furnished in warm, complementary finishes: wood, leather, herringbone cowhide, cotton and wool shag. The master bedroom is simple, yet plush, featuring a custom linen bed, Indian wool rug and Bocci chandelier. Morning light bounces off glass cabinetry into the master bath––and what a bath it is! The freestanding soaker tub is the pièce de resistance of this double suite, flanked by tiled glass and an enviable spa steam shower. The tour suddenly becomes difficult to continue.
The punch clock has most decidedly been reset in this former factory space, where cohesive luxury flirts with function. The family will live happily here. But as delicate rays stream in through the 20 ft. skylight, I contemplate staying, if not for a little while.