Minimalist living for a natural lifestyle

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The nature-bound lifestyle does not automatically exclude a high standard of living. Minimalist living Surrounded by nature enables contemporary architecture and an excellent example of this is the flat roof house in Estèrel, Canada, designed by Paul Bernier Architecture.

Minimalist living in nature

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The family, the client, has had the property for years and has always enjoyed the surrounding landscape with its open, untouched nature. Why was the priority set to keep the close proximity to nature and not to change it grandly, but to protect it. The challenge was a modern flat roof house between the nearby stream and the slope to which the property stretches. The project was completed in 2014 as a single-storey flat roof house in a purist style.

Minimalist living in Estèrel, Canada

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The house is built in a meandering shape and adapts to the property as much as possible. It looked like a river that makes its way through the surface of the earth. The house facade ensures a very uniform overall appearance – with cladding made of elongated cedar wood slats.

Minimalist living in a flat roof house under nature

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The joints between the wooden slats contribute to the drainage of the flat roof and serve as a kind of palisade. At the beginning of the property is the garage, which is completely closed. The house is elongated and the windows are directed towards the surrounding nature. These become larger towards the south and thus allow more light as possible, while the north side remains closed and well insulated.

Nature-bound and minimalist living 

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Further south in the last room there is a glazed terrace with a wonderful view of the forest and the lake nearby. An additional room was built on the flat roof. It resembles a tree house and offers a beautiful view from above.

Wooden facade for modern architecture 

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The soil around the house is completely natural and over time it will be covered with greenery. The result is a natural overall picture and a totally green building.

Panoramic windows and window walls for optimal light flow

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The interior is kept very minimalist, reduced to the essentials. The large use of wood, which is also visible in the exterior design, will continue to be pursued in the interior. It provides a useful cosiness, while the rest of the living area is made of concrete.

Modern variant of a winter garden

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Generous fully glazed terrace as a kind of winter garden and extension of the living area offers a direct view of the surrounding nature and the lake. In summer, natural shading forms from the treetops of the trees.

Simple furniture reduced to the essentials


The concept for minimalist living is continued in the living room and kitchen. Angular, angular shapes and furniture in gray or wood, with details and small elements missing. Cabinets without handles, no home textiles or colors will be found in the interior of this house. Instead, you look forward to a quiet ambience and the natural flow of light through the whole building.

Window walls directed towards the surrounding nature


The kitchen furniture was specially made from wood – kitchen island and cabinets with a reduced look.

Open kitchen with wooden island


Wooden kitchen island and white cabinets


Window sill with a view of the green roof

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Inner staircase placed in the middle of the ground floor

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Minimalist wall cladding made of wood 


* find out more about the project and Paul Bernier Architecture here