.

A Modern Art Space in the Woods: Les Abouts Residence

Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault

This quiet retreat built in the thick of Centre-du-Québec region’s woodlands invites the outside in. For this home away from home, the homeowners had two main wishes; the house should create a feeling of being immersed in nature and it should have enough space to display their art collection. With these wishes in mind, architect Pierre Thibault included wide spaces, sculptural elements and a harmonious connection to the natural habitat. 

Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault
Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault

The story behind Les Abouts traces back into family history of the current homeowner, who grew up on the family farm in the region. As he reached adulthood, he inherited a large plot of land from his family, which they could not cultivate due to the plot’s position at the back of the woods. The name Les Abouts, meaning the “far end” in French, refers exactly to that; it is the plot of land on which the homeowner and his partner now have their beautiful secondary home.  

Avid art collectors, the pair sought after a cottage-like sanctuary that would include plenty of space to showcase their collection while at the same time enjoying a deep connection to the surrounding nature. 

Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault
Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault

Completed in 2005, Les Abouts residence covers 253 square meters of living space, separated into open spaces for entertaining family and friends, plus a private part for personal use. 

The private section stretches around thirty meters, bordering the nearby river. This one-story volume accommodates the master bedroom, two bathrooms and the kitchen. The home’s design appreciates open space, invites natural light to stream through through expanses of glass and is covered by a thin roof. This private section overlooks the views outside and feels one with nature.

Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault
Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault
Les Abouts Atelier Pierre Thibault

Next to this, a vertical volume including two floors makes space for an open plan living and dining area. In addition, a cube-shaped second floor including a study for reading and relaxing floats over the living area. 

Elevated from the ground, the home is built in a white birch post and beam structure, covered by a flat roof. Walls of glass encompass the building and rather than disturbing the natural habitat, Les Abouts makes the most of its surroundings in a respectful manner.