I see a lot of houses, but few match up to this 1960s Roger D’Astous midcentury modern house in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada.
It came on the radar via Guillaume, who mentioned that his friend had put his house up for sale. I wasn’t quite prepared for what was about to appear on my screen.
This is pretty much 1960s midcentury modern perfection. Originality, impact, space and above all, a sympathetic renovation that refreshes the original details and adds in some modern-era practicality.
It’s a house that dates back to 1961 and the work of Canadian architect Roger D’Astous, a graduate of the Montreal School of Fine Arts who went on to win a Taliesin Fellowship, spending time in the studios of Frank Lloyd Wright.
He was particularly prolific during the late 1950s and through the 1960s, designing 12 churches along with a number of luxury homes primarily in the Montreal area, with this being one of them.
I don’t know a great deal about the house outside of it being a Roger D’Astous design, but thankfully the images tell much of the story here.
As I said, this is a headline midcentury modern design, one that utilised innovative techniques and materials to create that drama.
Much of the main living space is upstairs, but let’s not skip past the ground floor, which is perhaps the most interesting part of the house. At least, it is for me.
Walk past the outer stonework and in through the bright red door and you enter a space that’s half inside, half out. Well, actually it’s all inside, but with all that glazing and some of the garden inside, it’s perhaps the grandest sunroom you will ever see.
It’s also just a hop and a skip to the leisure area of that wonderful long pool as well, plus a terrace that’s just perfect for a party if the sun is shining.
There’s also storage space and even an office desk down here, but beyond those plants is another focal point of this house – that magnificent staircase that takes you up to the main living space.
Once upstairs, the drama continues, from the railings that surround the double-height space around the stairs to the wood-clad walls, the beams and of course, the living space itself.
Bright, open and spacious, the reception areas flow from one to the other, with so many period details on show., The fireplace, the parquet flooring and built-in furnishings for example. Plenty of period design pieces too, but as ever, they are unlikely to be staying.
But it isn’t all original. According to the agent, the current owners, who are passionate about design, have given this place a second life. The renovation and/or restoration of the original details is pretty much as good as such a job gets. But that doesn’t mean everything is from the early 1960s.
The kitchen, although is keeping, is almost certainly a recent update throughout. The bathrooms too are likely to have been updated, either totally or in part. Let’s be honest, sometimes kitchens and bathrooms don’t always travel well through the years and looking around the house, I would definitely trust the judgement of the people updating this in making the decision to keep or replace. Regardless of their age, they still set well within the house.
The updates are in a minority too. A virtual look around the rest of the house shows the vast majority of living space restored to its best. the bedrooms, in particular, are a joy. The original flooring, the wood walls, the beams and where possible, furnishings from or inspired by the original era. Some of the coolest kids’ playrooms I’ve ever encountered for sure.
There are 13 rooms in total here, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms amongst them, all of which can be seen here or via the remaining images in the agent’s listing. But that’s not quite all you get with this one.
A terrace area from the upper floor throws in some outside recreation space and if you want more, take a walk down the steps and take in that leisure area. As you might have glimpsed from the full-height windows from the ground floor, there is a lengthy swimming pool just outside the main house, a larger ground floor terrace (which would be perfect for a party) and beyond that, what looks like a good-sized garden.
There’s also a rather cool midcentury modern garden shed sitting in the garden too, which is pictured on the agent’s site. That alone would get me hot under the collar. A large driveway as well, plus a double garage at the end of it.
The fact that houses like this are still standing always amazes me, but that’s down to the dedication of people who take these places on and use their money, skill and imagination to preserve them and bring them back to their best.
That’s the case here, but this house is now looking for someone else to take it on and hopefully maintain it for years to come. If that’s you, the house is up for sale for $1,129.000, which works out at something like £669,000 at the current exchange rate.
Images and details courtesy of Centris. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.