A Contemporary Cottage Is a Warm Refuge For a Family of Skiers

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By Lucy Wang
Built for a family of ski lovers, this holiday home known as the Cottage in Sutton recedes into its lush landscape with a sleek black profile and green roof.

A clients' sloped site was no match for the team at Montreal–based Paul Bernier Architecte, who turned the challenging topography into an inspiration for a ski chalet in the Québécois town of Sutton.

The clients, a couple with two children, were captivated by the architects’ contemporary designs and wanted a similarly styled structure to serve as their weekend retreat for ski trips.

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Approached from above, the home blends into the landscape thanks to an expansive green roof that's set on SOPREMA elastomeric waterproofing membrane. In winter, the house is disguised under a blanket of snow. 

Approached from above, the home blends into the landscape thanks to an expansive green roof that's set on SOPREMA elastomeric waterproofing membrane. In winter, the house is disguised under a blanket of snow. 

The home is clad in black-stained rough sawn cedar that has been sourced from Éco-Cèdre.

The home is clad in black-stained rough sawn cedar that has been sourced from Éco-Cèdre.

"The place had to be robust and practical," note the architects. "It had to take advantage of the views of the site, and had to be clean and contemporary while keeping the spirit of the ski chalet."

The covered parking pad is supported by an exposed concrete volume with (unseen) built-in storage. The concrete also provides protection against water runoff from the mountain.

The covered parking pad is supported by an exposed concrete volume with (unseen) built-in storage. The concrete also provides protection against water runoff from the mountain.

Taking cues from the densely wooded surroundings, Paul Bernier Architecte cladded the 2,400-square-foot dwelling—officially known as the Cottage of Sutton—in black-painted rough sawn cedar, and designed it to be parallel to the slope.

The lower half of the two-story retreat is built into the steep slope; the larger upper volume is crowned with a green roof that is sloped at an angle opposite to that of the site’s topography.

With the house pointing southward toward Mount Sutton, the residents can embrace the gorgeous views via a covered outdoor patio.

With the house pointing southward toward Mount Sutton, the residents can embrace the gorgeous views via a covered outdoor patio.

"The project simply draws itself through the landscape as a black stroke hurtling down the slope. This axis, heavily marked by the shape of the house, points toward the south as well as Mount Sutton—a view which we wanted to prioritize."

Untreated-timber floor planks provide contrast against the black-painted elements and furnishings in the covered patio.

Untreated-timber floor planks provide contrast against the black-painted elements and furnishings in the covered patio.

To emphasize mountain views, the architects have added full-height glazed windows and doors to the south side of the home where the great room opens up to a covered outdoor patio

A secondary living room on the basement level is also located on the south side of the home, and opens up to a small deck. 

Polished concrete floors with integrated radiant heating are used throughout the home, while the walls are lined with white-painted wood planks.

Polished concrete floors with integrated radiant heating are used throughout the home, while the walls are lined with white-painted wood planks.

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The living room is anchored by a wood-burning stove. The sofas in this room are by Ligne Roset.

The living room is anchored by a wood-burning stove. The sofas in this room are by Ligne Roset.

The upper floor houses the master bedroom and an open-plan great room, while two additional bedrooms and a family room can be found on the floor below. 

The minimalist interiors feature a mainly monochromatic palette with white walls and black surfaces, including the granite island top and window trim. Small pops of color help break up the color scheme.

The minimalist interiors feature a mainly monochromatic palette with white walls and black surfaces, including the granite island top and window trim. Small pops of color help break up the color scheme.

This pendant light fixture is from Lambert & Fils.

This pendant light fixture is from Lambert & Fils.

Here's a look at the entrance foyer that features a door leading out to the parking pad.

Here's a look at the entrance foyer that features a door leading out to the parking pad.

A compact bedroom is enclosed in the black volume just off of the entrance. A small bathroom lies adjacent.

A compact bedroom is enclosed in the black volume just off of the entrance. A small bathroom lies adjacent.

The elegant walnut steps are paired with a railing made of natural, hot-roll steel.

The elegant walnut steps are paired with a railing made of natural, hot-roll steel.

This is the upper-floor floor plan.

This is the upper-floor floor plan.

Here's a look at the basement floor plan.

Here's a look at the basement floor plan.

A section view of the home.

A section view of the home.

To see more projects by Paul Bernier Architecte, click here

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Paul Bernier Architecte

Builder/General Contractor: Pierre Boivin Construction

Structural Engineer: Alain Mousseau, Calculatec