Compiled by Savitha Hira
Photography: Marc Cramer; courtesy V2com
This modern ski chalet - a weekend retreat - commands 100-mile panoramic views over beautiful Lac Archambault in Saint-Donat-de-Montcalm, Canada...
Designed by Ar. Andrew Curtis of Robitaille Curtis Inc., the chalet is sited on a steep slope and at an elevation of 2,435 feet above sea level, is among the highest residential building lots in the region.
Built on 8” x 8” western red cedar pilotis, the home minimizes the footprint of construction, and facilitates snow and spring run-off to flow freely beneath the structure; whilst in spring and summer, a forest floor of native ferns and moss extends uninterrupted beneath it.
The home is accessed via an entry bridge, with the living level 30’ above grade. The main floor has an open plan, linear space connecting the kitchen, dining and living room flanked by a 27-foot-long dramatic bay window-wall and window seat overlooking the scenic outdoors.
In fact, almost all areas frame the panoramic outdoors. Spaces are designed such that the host does not ever have to turn their backs on the views or the family and friends they are entertaining. High on the opposite side of the chalet, a continuous clerestory window runs the full length of the house bringing in morning light and views of the mountain above.
The living room anchored by a fireplace occupies the southern end of the home, where daylight streams in from windows on three sides. Directly adjacent to the living room, through a wall of glass sliding doors, is an expansive south-facing deck with an outdoor fireplace. The east side of the kitchen and dining room are built into a shallow bay that articulates itself on the entry façade. The efficient use of this cantilevered bay coupled with that of the larger bay on the north side of the house allows for a slender and efficient 14’-2” deep main structural footprint.
Uniformly clad in dark stained white cedar siding, the angle of its metal roof complements the natural topography of the steep mountainside; whilst the exposed deep eaves of the roof as well as the finish material of the ceiling throughout the interior of the main living level is square-grooved clear western red cedar. The chalet's thermal envelope is highly insulated and carefully detailed to minimize thermal bridging and energy consumption.