Hickson Residence by MRDK

Explore the Hickson Residence, a contemporary two-story house located in Saint-Lambert, Canada, designed in 2022 by MRDK. This stylish residence was renovated to fit the needs of a young family of four who wanted to make the most of their home.

MRDK brought sensibility to detail and nostalgia to the project while creating a convivial living space. Enjoy the sweeping staircase, the double height living room, and the bathed in natural light kitchen and dining room. Discover the hidden pantry and the Travertine and Rosso Levanto marble accents.

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About Hickson Residence

Revitalizing a 40-Year-Old Home: MRDK’s Renovation of Frank McGrath’s 1981 Design

When a young family of three found out they were soon going to be four, they decided to look for a bigger home. They fell in love with the charm of a house on Montreal’s south shore designed by the architect Frank McGrath in 1981, but after 40 years of wear and tear, it was in need of a major renovation. They approached MRDK, whose sensibility to detail and nostalgia would be a good fit for their renovation.

Bringing Southern Light into the Basement

The house’s dilapidated greenhouse protruding from its front façade had gained a reputation for being an eyesore in the neighbourhood. MRDK’s first move was to demolish it while salvaging its concrete foundation to create a large window-well, bringing southern light into the basement office. To further maximize daylight and create a convivial living space below ground, the backyard was excavated to add floor-to-ceiling windows on the back façade, creating a walkout basement.

Maximizing Space with a Contemporary Dormer

An unusable attic space off the principal bedroom was repurposed by lifting the sloping roof, creating a contemporary dormer. This space houses the walkthrough closet and principal bathroom, with generous south-facing clerestory windows and 14′ (4.3 m) high ceilings.

A Sweeping Staircase Welcomes Guests

As you enter the house, you are welcomed by a sweeping staircase whose handrail, covered in lime plaster, wraps into a curved volume containing a fireplace below. The double-height living room can be admired from above from the built-in desk on the mezzanine.

A Practical and Stylish Kitchen

At the rear of the house, the kitchen and dining room are bathed in natural light from the large opening created with sliding doors opening onto a cedar patio. A large sculptural travertine island sits at the centre of the kitchen, with its edge softened by an inverted demi-bullnose. A mistake in the fabrication of this island left a groove down either side of the travertine, which became a design opportunity: these grooves were filled with strips of Rosso Levanto marble racing stripes. Travertine is found again on the backsplash of the kitchen, where a large slab slides into a pocket in the wall, exposing a hidden pantry beyond. All the appliances typically cluttering the countertop are hidden away in this pantry, where a passthrough opening makes it a practical use of space.

Photography by David Dworkind

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- by Matt Watts