Drolet Avenue Family Residence in Montreal, Canada

“Large or small, affordable or lavish, each project has the capacity to be extraordinary”, stated Nature humaine on their website. Nature humaine is a firm specializing in architecture and interior design, based in Montreal. What they strive for is “sensitive and balanced design”. Their name, french for human nature, offers an insight on what they are about. According to their philosophy, they want to “dig to the core of human experience”. Naturhumaine’s designs are conceptualized to mold on the individual. Every material and shape, color and texture, element and sequence, revolves around the person’s needs.

Drolet Avenue is the epitome of nature humaine applied philosophy. Understanding the customer’s needs was their priority. Armed with knowledge, the architects appealed to their ingenuity and created a space that arouses perspective. Drolet Residence is a pleasurable, seductive exploration of space, with light acting as a prime material. If you want to learn more about Drolet Residence, join us as we explore the beauty of its design.

1. Drolet Residence

modern kitchen

Contemporary kitchen featuring a white ceiling with spotlights,black fitted cabinets and cupboards for kitchen storage. The kitchen island is super powered with kitchen appliances such as a cooker,drinks cooler and a washing sink on the other end.

kitchen door way

Drolet Residence is a complete renovation of a house found on Drolet Street, in Montreal, Canada. Naturehumaine was tasked with conceptualizing and reorganizing the space. They transposed the client’s needs and desires into a neat, contemporary design.

2. Transposing passion in design

kitchen island

Naturehumaine’s architects soaked up all the information given by the owners. Having a deep passion for cooking, it was their wish that the house would reflect it. The couple wanted the kitchen, more precisely, a large island, to be the focal point of the home.

3. A kitchen island as focal point

kitchen island from the top view

Following the guidelines, the architects placed the kitchen island in the spotlight, literally. The island is lit by a skylight that elongates above it, reinforcing its length and dominance. The island’s soap stone countertop soaks in the natural light, reflecting it.

4. Putting an emphasis of functionality

kitchen floors and cabinets

“The skylight is interrupted by a monolithic range that protrudes from the ceiling above”-Naturehumaine. This intervention is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. It cleverly conceives a cooking hood, while marking the placement and putting an emphasis on the stove.

5. Defining circulation and organizing space


More than a focal point, the island defines circulation and organizes the space. As Naturehumaine states, “The open plan kitchen, living and dining room are … organized around a long linear island”. The two black linear elements are defining the limits of the kitchen.

6. Establishing hierarchy

 hierarchy of circulation

In the hierarchy of circulation, spaces are differentiates and emphasized through the medium of materials. Changes in color and pattern of the flooring material indicate a change in functionality.

7. Concealed storage


“A block of cabinets, clad in a mix of anigre veneer and lacquered doors, is recessed into the wall behind the island. This block conceals the fridge as well as other appliances, pantry storage and a powder room.”- Naturehumaine.

8. Emphasizing through light

sculptural staircase

The concept of emphasizing through light, moves from the kitchen to the sculptural staircase. A pattern of artificial light “draws the focus upwards”. In a house dominated by simplicity, the effect appears quite complex, calling for closer observation.

9. Sculptural staircase

Sculptural staircase

clear view of staircase

According to the architects, “The lines of the stair invite the natural and fluid transition from the ground floor entrance to the living spaces above.”

10. Consistence in design

bathroom designs

The bathroom follows the same minimalism and elegant color palette encountered throughout the house. The sole difference is the lack of natural light, made up for through clever artificial illumination. Pendants are placed in front of a large mirror, which bounces light across the room, where it’s absorbed by the reflective, black surface.

Drolet Residence is characterized by a minimalist style coming in a neutral color palette. Used consistently, the three neutrals give the sequence of spaces consistency and fluidity. Both natural and artificial light are vital elements, creating a setting that enhances the interaction between materials and colors. Its coldness is absorbed by black and white and used to reinforce their contrast with brown.

In our opinion, Naturehumaine created an interesting minimalist sculpture, exploring the properties of light. What’s your opinion regarding Drolet Residence?

Currently studying architecture, I'm enamored of all visual arts. My path in architecture started with drawing. The childish play soon developed into a passion and then into a choice of profession. Architecture taught me a lot of things that can be applied in interior design. I'll share with you my perception of space along with tips on how to manipulate it to suit your needs. Enjoy!


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