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RobitailleCurtis

Westmount
Photo: Catherine Tighe

Regions Served

  • Boston & New England
  • New York City & Mid-Atlantic
  • Quebec

Founded in 2013 by a Montreal Landscape Architect and an American Architect, RobitailleCurtis brings significant international background to its personal, creative, and detail-oriented practice. Offering services in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and interiors, RobitailleCurtis achieves elegant designs that are beautiful in form, rich in material composition, and have a lasting sense of integrity and durability.  Sensitive to client aspirations and to the character of place, RobitailleCurtis crafts an architecture that is authentic, efficient, and endeavors to elevate the human spirit.

RobitailleCurtis was founded on the belief that buildings and landscapes greatly benefit from a seamless and integrated design process.  Founders, Sophie Robitaille and Andrew Curtis began their professional collaboration in 2002 while working at acclaimed design firms in Philadelphia, PA.  They established their Montreal, QC and Burlington, VT based studios in 2013.  Sophie leads landscape architecture and urban design projects while Andrew is responsible for architecture projects.

Sophie is a registered Landscape Architect, a member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Association des Architectes Paysagiste du Quebec.  She has led high profile, award-winning projects throughout North America and Europe.  Sophie’s portfolio comprises a broad range of landscape architectural projects including public, institutional, residential, and urban design commissions.  Her designs are multifaceted; adding vibrancy and beauty to the built landscape, while supporting and enhancing social dynamics and environmental functionality.

Andrew is a registered Architect in the United States, a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and a member of the American Institute of Architects.  He has worked on significant building projects in the United States and the United Kingdon.  With a background in furniture and the decorative arts, Andrew’s keen attention to detail and craftsmanship are integral to each project.  He is a LEED Accredited Professional who has designed LEED Gold Certified buildings; he brings a broad understanding of sustainable design considerations to each project.

Details

Contact

Owner

  • Sophie Robitaille and Andrew Curtis

Locations

  • 300 avenue Victoria, Suite 01
    Westmount, Quebec H3Z 2M8
    T. 514-508-9950
  • 47 Maple Street, #334
    Burlington, VT 05401
    T. 514-508-9950

Featured Projects

RobitailleCurtis portrait 3_11

Laurentian Ski Chalet

This modern ski chalet was designed as a weekend retreat for a family with school age children. Sited on the steep slope of a former ski hill, Mont-Jasper, near the village of Saint-Donat. At an elevation of 2,435 feet above sea level, the site is among the highest residential building lots in the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions. From this elevation, surrounded by a dense forest of spruce, maple, beech and birch trees, the chalet commands 100-mile panoramic views over beautiful Lac Archambault.

To maintain the natural topography of the steep mountainside and to minimizes the footprint of construction, the house was built on 8” x 8” western red cedar pilotis. Elevating the house allows snow and spring run-off to flow freely beneath the structure. In spring and summer, a forest floor of native ferns and moss extends uninterrupted beneath the structure.

The home is accessed via an entry bridge, with the living level 30’ above grade. The main floor has an open plan connecting the kitchen, dining area, and living room. Spanning the length of the kitchen and dining areas is a 27-foot-long bay window and window seat. Below the upholstered seat cushions is concealed storage. A dramatic panoramic window wall runs the full width of the bay and focuses views on the remarkable landscape beyond. A continuous clerestory window runs the full length of the house bringing in morning light and high views of the mountain above.

The kitchen features a large central island that contains a gas cook top and a prep sink so that the host does not turn their back to the views or the family and friends they are entertaining. The kitchen`s adjacency to the long window seat, creates a generous and comfortable place for the family and guests to gather after a day of skiing.

The east side of the kitchen and dining room are built into a shallow bay that articulates itself on the entry façade. The efficient use of this cantilevered bay coupled with that of the larger bay on the north side of the house allows for a slender and efficient 14’-2” deep main structural footprint.

The living room occupies the southern end of the home where daylight streams in from windows on three sides. A fireplace anchors the living room, while a smaller, cozy window seat with mountain views provides additional seating. Directly adjacent the living room, through a wall of glass sliding doors, is an expansive south-facing deck with an outdoor fireplace.

At the north end of the main living level is the master suite. The master bedroom and bathroom also benefit from large windows that maintain the home’s visual connection to the surrounding landscape.

On the lower level, the children`s bedrooms, a guest bedroom, steam room, and a play room all enjoy expansive views. One of the children’s bedrooms features a custom designed bunk bed, while the other has a cozy built-in bed, above drawers, set flush with the full-width window. Adjacent the steam room, the spa occupies the lower deck where it enjoys private framed views of the forest beyond.

The exterior of the house is uniformly clad in dark stained white cedar siding. The angle of the metal roof matches the slope of the mountain. The exposed deep eaves of the roof as well as the finish material of the ceiling throughout the interior of the main living level is square-grooved clear western red cedar.

The chalet’s thermal envelope is highly insulated and was carefully detailed to minimize thermal bridging and energy consumption.

Photo: Marc Cramer
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Atrium Townhome

This townhome has a 32’ atrium with a skylight running the full width of the house. Our design embraces this feature and heightens the experience of its dynamic interior volume. A fireplace is integrated as a central focal point. Atop the mantle is a grand bookcase that provides storage and visual interest as it draws one’s eyes upward through the atrium.

At the main living level, the kitchen has been relocated from the front of the home to the rear where it now enjoys more open space and daylight in its position adjacent a window wall with views to a newly designed garden. A carefully detailed millwork ‘cube’ is a primary organizing element of the ground floor plan. It is a nicely proportioned object that orients movement through the space as it separates the living room from the atrium and kitchen. The ‘cube’ contains two concealed glass pocket doors that enable the living room to be closed off. It also conceals a coat closet at the main entry of the home and hides a discreet powder room.

At the ground floor level and up through the atrium and main stair, vertical grain Douglas fir slats provide screened views through the home and eliminate the necessity for guardrails. Douglas fir, concrete floors, and white lacquered millwork combine to create a crisp, clean, and warm material palette.

At the third floor level, a net ‘floor’ has been installed at the top of the atrium allowing the void space to become a dramatic play surface adjacent to the kid’s bedrooms. The use of a net in this location precludes the need for guardrails and opens the floor plan to unimpeded views to and from the third floor. Riggers from Cirque du Soleil provided and installed the trapeze net.

In the garden a covered seating area adjacent to the kitchen serves to blur the boundary between the interior living spaces and the exterior. Carefully placed hornbeams create an aerial hedge offering privacy from adjacent buildings while focusing attention towards the rear of the garden. At the garden’s terminus, views are borrowed from a mature grove of hemlocks and spruce trees, enhancing the sense of lushness in this small city garden. Additionally, a small, shallow, fountain built into a concrete bench serves as a focal point.

Photo: Marc Cramer
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Fitler Square Townhome & Garden

The dense urban environment of Center City Philadelphia doesn’t often provide in-town residences with generous exterior space. This 19th century townhome is unusual in that it does not front onto the street it addresses; one enters the property through a walled side garden accessed from Lombard Street. During schematic design the client was presented with the rare opportunity to purchase an adjacent, overgrown, vacant lot perpendicular to her home. The resulting uniquely shaped site forms an L, providing for front and rear entrances on two separate streets. The client initially wanted just a kitchen renovation. Through an extended schematic design phase, it was discovered that an ambitious larger-scale remodel of the entire property was needed to realize the potential for making the ground floor and gardens more generous and spatially interconnected.

In the end the ground floor and exterior spaces were entirely reconfigured. The basement was finished and expanded with a guest suite, laundry room, and storage. The dining room was enlarged; the main circulation path through the house was widened; a new powder room, anteroom, and closets were provided; and a large eat-in kitchen capable of accommodating full on-site catering services was added to the southeast corner of the newly formed L-shaped site.

The kitchen addition’s bluestone floors continue out to the exterior paving to enhance the relationship between inside and out. A path of the same stone extends to a new garden shed that fronts onto 23rd Street. The shed acts as a threshold and gateway into the private realm of the new garden. A clear stained cedar fence and carefully placed allee of trees supply additional privacy from neighboring buildings.

The original entry sequence from Lombard Street was preserved, while the grading, paving, and plantings were redesigned and formalized into three distinct tiers that create outdoor rooms for entertaining.

Large areas of new windows and glass doors bring abundant daylight deep into the home and visually connect the interior of the house to the expanded and remodeled gardens.

Photo: Catherine Tighe
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Victoria Village House & Garden

The only remaining private residence on a block of beautiful, historic, St. Marc Stone clad townhomes, the clients for this project were looking to reclaim their rear yard from its current use as a parking lot for four cars to transform it into an urban oasis that is visually and physically connected to the interior of their home. RobitailleCurtis designed the garden as a private space that carefully screens views from the adjacent vacant parking lots.

The existing kitchen was renovated to open the house to the new garden. A wall of sliding glass doors opens to a covered porch. The kitchen is filled with natural daylight and benefits from a galley layout that terminates with views to the garden.

Photo: Marc Cramer
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Richards Garden

This urban chic-casual garden responds to the architectural style of the house. At the client’s request, we incorporated a broad range of elements and uses in a limited space: dining area, sitting area, pond, lawn, perennial garden, terrace for large gatherings and theater for outdoor concerts. In order to create a unified garden, despite a drop of 5 feet over a distance of 45 feet, we structured the garden in gradual stages (<24 inches) so as to not require guardrails. This becomes a graceful and intimate space that can also accommodate a group of spectators during the performances by our client, a musician.

Photo: Marc Cramer
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Hampstead House

For this house renovation in the Hampstead neighbourhood of Montreal, RobitailleCurtis was hired to assist a young doctor and his family with the modernization of a home that had been owner occupied for more than 40 years. A vintage 1960’s property, the existing house was divided into a series of small rooms with a decor from another era. Our clients wanted to freshen up the look & feel of their new home and granted RobitailleCurtis full-license to re-imagine how best to transform the house into a home designed for a thriving modern family.

Our first instincts were to open the spaces to one another to create a less compartmentalized living experience. We demolished walls separating the kitchen and dining room, as well as walls between the living room and den. Large areas of new modern glazing were introduced to bring daylight into the home and to connect the main living areas to the outdoors and to one another.

By combining the kitchen and dining experience into one large room a generous space was created where the family can easily interact or entertain in a modern space that is open and inviting. The large glass doors open to a new south facing terrace.

RobitailleCurtis designed all custom cabinets. Kastella, a Montreal based furniture and custom cabinetry manufacturer, fabricated all custom millwork. The 8-seat T107 table and C205 chairs in white oak, together with the C401 stool in walnut are designed and built by Kastella.

Photo: Adrien Williams

Coverage on Remodelista & Gardenista

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