Philip Johnson’s Glass House informs Canada’s Pool Pavilion


Modernist Ben Rose House in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Philip Johnson’s Glass House inspired this pool house designed by the Canadian studio Maurice Martel Architecte.


Maurice Martel Architecte built Pavilion A to accompany an existing house in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, a suburb of Montreal.

It was designed to take inspiration from two examples of Modernist architecture: the Glass House which Philip Johnson completed in Connecticut in 1939 and the Ben Rose House completed in Illinois by A James Speyer in 1953.

The latter appears in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which follows a boy who misses school for a day in Chicago.

Pavilion A by Maurice Martel architect

“Inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Ben Rose House from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pavilion A is a tribute to modern architecture,” said the Canadian studio.

Like its predecessors, the pavilion has a flat roof and large windows. Its interiors include a large swimming pool, a lounge area and a bathroom, all visible from the outside.

Pavilion A by Maurice Martel architect

Several dormers topped with a white dome are arranged across the flat roof.

Sheets of black aluminum border the length of the roof line and form pillars on the four transparent sides of the building that hug the natural landscape.

“The 360-degree glazing removes the border between the interior and the exterior and contributes to the change of scenery,” he added.

On one side, part of the roof forms an awning over a wooden terrace that attaches to the building. Short glass walls surround the outdoor patio which overlooks the forest landscape.

Pavilion A by Maurice Martel architect

Gray porcelain tiles cover the floor around the pool, which takes up most of the compact structure. Garden plots with a variety of tropical plants are placed along the periphery of the building.

The pavilion’s furniture includes a set of round white chairs, an upholstered living room sofa, a wooden table, and an assortment of patterned pillows.

Pavilion A by Maurice Martel architect
The photography is by Raphael Thibodeau

The bathroom is housed inside a cylindrical volume covered with bands of red cedar. The circular structure nestled in one corner is both a functional and sculptural element of the pavilion.

Inside the unit, the rounded walls are tiled with white mosaic dots and the floor is covered with black dots.

Pavilion A by Maurice Martel architect
The photography is by Raphael Thibodeau

An open shower formed by a silver frame sits next to the oval shaped sink and toilet. Above the shower, a circular skylight projects sunlight into the enclosed space.

Small black hooks attach to the tiled walls to hold bath products, and a rounded mirror surrounded by a black frame also contrasts with the white surroundings.

Pavilion A by Maurice Martel architect
The photography is by Raphael Thibodeau

Founded in 2016, Maurice Martel Architectes counts among his other projects a gray wooden barn built to house offices.

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects also built a pool house in Canada that references modernist architecture. The concrete, glass and wood structure is inspired by the famous Barcelona pavilion by Mies van der Rohe.

Photograph is by Adrien Williams, unless otherwise noted.


Project credits:

Architecture: Maurice Martel Architect
Interior design : Maurice Martel Architect, Bipède
Service provider: N Deslaurier
Landscaping: Vertigo Landscape, Nicolas Ménard


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