Apple Tree House | A place connected with nature

The storm-tossed trees littered the road leading to St.-Donat. At their destination, 50 windswept behemoths are waiting to be torn to pieces. The small apple tree remains intact, nestled in the heart of a house that has become the focal point.

Posted at 12:00 pm

Isabel Marin

Isabel Marin
The press

From his native Monteregi, architect Maxim-Alexis Frapier has fond memories of a farm, a chicken coop, and 5,000 apple trees scattered over 100 acres of fertile and arable land. A canvas very different from the indomitable landscape of the North with which he had been attached for years. Her darling grew up in this landmass of hills, lakes and spruce trees where her parents had a cottage for a long time before settling full-time on the shores of Lake Archambult.

The charm of the envelope cross-country ski trail, the village ice rink, the vast expanse of water on which to practice sailing, and the warm presence of the in-laws made the man on the south bank even better. After renting the area for several years, Maxim-Alexis Frapier acquired the land next to his father-in-law’s house, but in the forest, with the intention of building a house connected to his green environment.


Photo Kareni-Isabel Jean-Baptiste, Special Collaboration

Architects Maxim-Alexis Frapier, his wife Marie-Andre Lahai and their two sons William and Arthur

In the center of this residence, a foreign tree blooms from the landscape – a fragment of imported memory: a boy running through a garden in Hemingford – the U-shaped house is highlighted around this apple tree, three main blocks with doors – overhangs Reminds me. Each has its functions: living area and garage on one side; On the other hand, there are two blocks which contain parental suites and juvenile branches.

Anxiety of creation

When the design of this residence began in 2019, French architect Roger Telbert – friend, master – spent the last moments of his life. “It simply came to our notice then. He always told me that the first duty of an architect is to create emotion. Taillibert achieved this especially through the use of curves. And it was there that Maxim-Alexis Frapier took inspiration for his first sketch.

“Initially, I built a round house, but the project did not go to the family committee,” he said with a smile. My wife’s intellect has brought me back to practical considerations: where would the furniture go in such a place and how much would it cost? A


Image courtesy of ACDF

A veranda adjoining the inner courtyard is screened with hinged blinds as required. This hybrid space between interior and exterior creates bridges between residential blocks in continuity with the interior and contributes to blurring boundaries.

So the architect went back to his drawing board. From sketch to sketch, he finds passion with this minimal and graphic concept, evolving around an interior courtyard that acts as a huge skylight. In this visual breakthrough, the sun moves from morning to evening to bathe the kitchen in amber light at the end of the day. The moon then appears there and gives way to a starry sky. In contrast to the glass blocks in the living area, which show the base of the tree, the central opening allows you to see the tops dancing. It is in this opening that his apple tree takes root. The space vibrates. Pulses.

We are in a dense forest. We understand the importance of each tree better when we adopt one.

Maxim-Alexis Frapier, architect and founder of the firm ACDF

“As an architect, building your home is really exciting. And just as anxiously, he admits, he admits to feeling the pressure of proving himself and being apart of this personal creation. “While doing this, I was designing a 42-story tower in Vancouver, but my concern with my home was living in a design that would mark a very special moment in my career.”

“To allay my concerns about doing something that is going out of fashion, I’ve revisited the basic principles of composition that you can’t go wrong with. Visitors discover this multi-layered space – airlocks, central openings, terraces, forests, blurred boundaries between nature and exterior.

Back to basics

The couple wanted a bungalow so they could connect with nature. The effect of transparency is centered on the axis of the living room. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s a place where you can chat, read … “, insists Marie-Andre Lahai. “And to do anything other than watch TV,” William continued, the older of the two boys.

  • Fully glossy space allows you to connect with nature.  The effect of transparency is centered on the axis of the living room.

    Image courtesy of ACDF

    Fully glossy space allows you to connect with nature. The effect of transparency is centered on the axis of the living room.

  • Fully glossy space allows you to connect with nature.  The effect of transparency is centered on the axis of the living room.

    Image courtesy of ACDF

    Fully glossy space allows you to connect with nature. The effect of transparency is centered on the axis of the living room.

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To manage the living area and conduction space to create a fully glazed space, the architect is reserved in the bedroom windows. To reduce costs, he has worked with existing construction constraints. The ceiling is 9 feet high, like a large window that meets industry standards. The bathrooms and kitchens are uncluttered and the rooms are reasonably sized.

“We wanted a home where we could all live together and see each other, but there could still be privacy. Together or separately, we are apparently communicating. And to be more detached, we retire to our bedroom, ”emphasizes the designer, whose home is a small creative laboratory and an opportunity to push specific ideas within budget limits. There was also a question with the process and served as a parameter for creation: do we really need it?

“The pressure was great. But I’m really happy with what we did. I think in the end, it’s a great example of the rational use of resources to create a place where you feel good, “said Maxim-Alexis Frapier. The small apple tree is the habitat of wildlife, the temperature fluctuates, changes with the seasons … “We think this tree stays with us every day. I believe that this relationship between nature and man is what makes me happiest. A

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