Westmount aggressively marks its place at the high point of the city. An expanse of McMansions soars upwards to snatch a view of the distant St. Lawrence River and city centre, creating a tense relationship with the land it rests on, and destroying any sense of human scale. ‘Within House’ is a reaction against the Westmount standard of building and living, choosing instead to explore and reinforce our relationships to our immediate surroundings and to ourselves on a more intimate level.
This reaction begins with the gesture of taking the house underground - in drastic contrast to the typical towering Westmount residence - which gives rise to a more intimate set of conditions and experiences. Rather than projecting the inhabitant beyond the site, he or she is confronted directly with it, meandering through a series of spaces of varying lightness and darkness, and varying views of the trees, the undergrowth, and the weather.