Elmire by La Firme

Elmire is a condo complex located in le Plateau, Canada, redesigned in 2021 by La Firme.

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This project took a space in a mid-19th century building that’s been a textile mill, a Campbell’s soup factory, and finally a condo complex, and tailored it to the clients’ personalities.

As much original structure was exposed as possible. Posts and joists of massive BC fir became a warm accent. A series of arches became a natural divide. They also served as a counterpoint to the project’s centerpiece – a massive, multi-functional white oak construction. These contrasting elements organize the space into a rectangular area for the kitchen and salon, and an L-shaped loft for the master bedroom and bath, with a combination gallery, conservatory, and meditative space.

Design informed by personality

The oak block creates a narrow entrance in an act of spatial compression that pays off with the reveal of the larger space. Running from there, it hides outerwear storage, a laundry room, a water closet with fixtures by Naoto Fukusawa, and a coffee nook with a stainless-steel counter and integrated sink. In the kitchen, it becomes a pantry.

One-half of the client couple is an engineer and geologist. The kitchen embodies his love of minerals and culinary passion. The counter is laser-cut/bent stainless steel, and the cabinets are a mix of white oak and Fenix panels. Quebec’s geological richness is brought inside with the island countertop, a slab of Labradorite granite. A table on a raised platform extends the island. At the salon, a higher split-level gives an elevated view of Mont Royal, and a custom drawer in it hides a guest bed.

On the other side of the arches are the gallery/conservatory and master bedroom/bathroom. In the bedroom, cabinets serve not only for clothes storage but as a discreet home for the client’s wine collection. One wall of the bathroom features five slabs of book-matched Calacatta Verde marble The rest is clad in tile, with a floor slanted for drainage. Natural light comes in from the gallery space through a band of glass blocks, in a wink to 1980s condo design.

The gallery/conservatory is the loft area’s raison d’être. Bright and open, it puts on display the clients’ other great loves: an impressive collection of contemporary art and a space for playing music.

Photography by Ulysse Lemerise

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- by Matt Watts