"The tiles' shimmering tones blend with the hues of the sky their sparkling materiality reminiscent of the geode's crystal-studded interior," says St-Onge.
"The headers in the brick layer on the street facade reflect the mineral roughness and protective aspect of the geode."
The main advantages of La Geode for the city of Montreal are the non-disruption of the classic streetscape and the revitalisation of an urban environment that residential occupancy brings.
"For residents, however, the advantages are many ranging from the private inner-courtyard that admits natural light but not street noise, to enjoying maximum internal apartment space that, in a different kind of design, might have been soaked up by circulation corridors," says St-Onge.
And it is the architecture itself that brings these pluses to the people that live there. Seen from above, the site reveals how the central laneway and courtyard divide the building with the original house there had been no throughway to the street behind. The nature of the wrap-around architecture also helps stop sound from penetrating to the internal courtyard. In addition, staircases at the ends of the building and external landings that face into the courtyard avoid the need for internal corridors.
One of the cleverest aspects of the building design facilitated the courtyard's sunny ambience.
"In this area we couldn't build above three levels unless the fourth storey is defined as a mezzanine floor. And for that designation it has to take up only 40% of the building floorplate. In such situations, the vacant part of the floor is stipulated to form a step-back from the street facade, basically to optimise sunlight penetration down to the street.