Today we are heading to a modern family home on Lake Brome by Atelier Pierre Thibault. Wonderful Project of the Week veteran Maxime Brouillet, whose beautiful style you may remember from his photographs of an angular cabin on the St. Laurence river, has masterfully documeneted this tranquil retreat.
Maxime shares “The residence is separated into two pavilions. One for entrance and bedrooms and the other one for the living space overlooking the lake. I knew that the living area would benefit from the sun for most of the day, especially at sunset. So I started with the private space, slowly discovering the rhythm of the place.”
There is a quitness about this series of photographs that allows us to just visually stand and look for a while. They exude calmness and peace. Soft directional lighting creates subtle gradients that guide our eyes throughout the room, while little beams of sunlight add interest and contribute to a beautiful sense of atmosphere.
He poetically recounts “The stone and the warm tone of the wood give a solemn atmosphere to the place, oscillating between a sanctuary and a museum. Yet, it feels withdrawn from the world. It is a particularly interesting to have this vastness of space, of opening, but it feels so secret.”
Maxime continues, “We then moved to the lake side where we enjoyed the sun for the whole afternoon with this autumn light soaking the whole place. There is nothing like fall light, you got those horizontal sun rays but for way longer than winter.”
Lake Brome House is steeped in gorgeous millwork by Montreal based hardwood furniture manufacturer Kastella. Maxime harnesses the rich quality of light that sweeps through these scenes of the living area later in the day to pull out the multitude of textures and warmth in the cabinetry and furniture.
I love this simple shot. The warm golden hour light reaches deep into the house and creates a dreamy, idyllic feeling. The interpay between colors here is perfect, with the blues and greens out the window contrasting subtly with the browns and oranges in the interior.
“I remember this shoot to be one of relaxedness,” Maxime recounts. “The owners set themselves up during the pandemic, fleeing from Montréal to Brome Lake. The home was finished just in the right time. They always wanted to have a residence next to this lake. I was welcomed in their space – their sanctuary I could say. We didn’t have to set up the space really, everything was there, and nothing was superfluous.”
Maxime’s images are restrained and yet full of warmth, life, and texture. We feel as if we just rounded the corner and happened upon this scene. We can feel the heat from the fire, and note the time of day, all just from the photograph.
“In restrospect, this was really an easy shoot,” Maxime says. “[I was just] passing from one wing to another as the light was moving. I felt that everything was complete, no back and forth, just a slow promenade. That’s the ultimate reward, this feeling of just being lucky to capture a space in a given moment. Just space, light and landscape – with no thoughts about a missing shot.”
Many thanks to our friend Maxime for sharing this project with us. It is such a good depiction of how unfussy, well composed and well timed images can transport us to a place, showing us the beauty and function of the architecture.
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