Affleck de la Riva Architects completed the design and development of Landsdowne House, a modern dwelling in Westmount,  Montreal, Canada. As a semi-detached house on a hill side, the project is an essay on asymmetry. Westmount’s past as an Anglo-Saxon enclave within French Canada saw the local flowering of such historic styles as Arts and Crafts and Neo-Gothic. Both these styles used asymmetry and informality to distinguish themselves from the more rigid forms of French and Italian classicism.

These traditions of informality are reinterpreted in Lansdowne House to celebrate the contrast between its detached and connected sides and its unique hill-side position. Clad in the same black slate found in the neighborhood historic homes, a corner bay-window on the street and a two-storey bay-window at the back of the house punctuate informally arranged planes of red brick. The two storey space behind the back bay-window, an open dining-living area, is the center of family life, shifting the focus of activities from the street to the rear of the house and the garden. [Information provided viae-mail by Affleck de la Riva Architects; Photography: Marc Cramer ]