Montreal Gazette




Viviane Primeau has done many things in her life for love. After meeting her boyfriend, a Breton-born cabinetmak­er with a passion for sailing, she took up sailing and eco-building.

“Shortly after we met, Didier embarked me on a two-year adventure at sea, on a small sailboat,” recalls Viviane Primeau. “When we returned, we set off on another journey: building the house of our dreams. Except that this crossing took more than ten years!”

The adventure began in 2009, with the purchase of a magnific land in old Chateaugua­y. The former orchard was home to plum trees, rhubarb, and a few large trees. At first, the architects consulted proposed convention­al designs, but Viviane and Didier wanted a unique house, in their image, adapted to their needs but above all in line with their values: a very ecological house.

“From the outset, we had decided to meet all LEED Platinum constructi­on standards,” Viviane explains. “At the end, we didn’t complete all the paperwork to get the official corticate, but we’re really pleased to know that our home meets the highest standards.”

Many systems are indeed in place: rainwater harvesting that makes the house self-sufficient in water, low-voltage electrical system with batteries that can last several days, optimized solar orientatio­n, radiant slab, etc. And everything was built using sustainabl­e materials.

But beyond the technical aspects, it’s Viviane and Didier’s personalit­ies that make this property so valuable and unique. There are no right angles, and the overall silhouette is reminiscen­t of a boat, yet simple. What’s more, the quality of the finish and the attention to detail are simply extraordin­ary. Just think: the stainless-steel kitchen sink and countertop are made from a single block, so there are no joints or welds! The bed in the master bedroom seems to float in the air, carried in reality by L-shaped steel beams hidden in the wall, leaving the underside of the bed empty. And at the bedside of this bed, lamps and tables are recessed into the woodwork, and are therefore invisible.


The exterior is not to be outdone in terms of originalit­y. Its design is very contempora­ry, with a long river pebble fence that encircles the property and adds luminosity through its whiteness. “We were inspired by a trip to Croatia,” Viviane recalls. “It gives intimacy while letting the light through.”

It’s often said that it’s not the destinatio­n that’s important, it’s the journey. And that’s certainly true for Viviane and Didier. Having just reached the end of their project, they decided to give other people the chance to sail their beautiful houseboat for a while. They gave their broker RE/MAX the task of finding them the right crew to take the helm. “I’m happy, and even proud, to bequeath a house in which we’ve put so much care and love,” Viviane says with beautiful generosity.” Didier will set sail again on his sailboat, and Viviane will move into a smaller apartment, but one with a view over Lac Saint-louis. A view that will give her plenty of time to dream of new adventures.

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