This Chic Chalet Harmonizes With Quebec’s Lush Forests

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By Lucy Wang
Built for approximately $227,000, this modern chalet cuts a timeless silhouette in the leafy, remote woods of Canada.

Designed to frame the seasonal changes of Estrie, Quebec, this light-filled cottage by APPAREIL architecture serves as a contemplative nature retreat for a couple entering retirement.

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Nestled in the woods, Chalet Grand-Pic was completed for construction costs of approximately $227,000.

Nestled in the woods, Chalet Grand-Pic was completed for construction costs of approximately $227,000.

Multiple site visits across different times of year were critical to the design process of the home, named Chalet Grand-Pic, which is largely inspired by its forested surroundings.

A view of the house from the southeast approach.

A view of the house from the southeast approach.

A pathway winds through the woods from the parking pad to reveal the cottage and a raised cedar walkway.

A pathway winds through the woods from the parking pad to reveal the cottage and a raised cedar walkway.

"Before even starting to imagine the project, the objective was to let ourselves be guided and inspired by the terrain’s characteristics," explains the Montreal–based firm. 

"This experience of the terrain, from the very start, allowed us to seize all the potential of the different ambiances that were present. Each move was influenced by a desire to optimize the space’s intrinsic qualities." 

A large cedar deck offers outdoor entertaining opportunities. The outdoor furnishings are by COOP Etabli.

A large cedar deck offers outdoor entertaining opportunities. The outdoor furnishings are by COOP Etabli.

In addition to strong connections with nature, the clients wanted a contemporary home that mimicked traditional gabled architecture with a subdued aesthetic that defers to the landscape. 

The vertical corrugated metal siding mimics the verticality of the trees.

The vertical corrugated metal siding mimics the verticality of the trees.

The home also includes a small outbuilding that echoes the main building's monochromatic, gabled form.

The home also includes a small outbuilding that echoes the main building's monochromatic, gabled form.

To that end, the architects grounded the building in simplicity. The monochromatic exterior is clad in black corrugated metal, while the light-filled interior is dominated by Baltic birch surfaces. 

The main entrance to the home is located opposite the door of the outbuilding.

The main entrance to the home is located opposite the door of the outbuilding.

A view of the dining area and living space from the kitchen. The floors are polished concrete while the walls are lined in baltic birch. The lighting is by Hamster.

A view of the dining area and living space from the kitchen. The floors are polished concrete while the walls are lined in baltic birch. The lighting is by Hamster.

"The omnipresence of light wood tinges the interior light, giving it similar characteristics to the light under the nearby vegetal cover," notes the firm. 

The technical rooms and storage are located behind the kitchen. Large windows and a natural material palette create a seamless feel between the indoors and out.

The technical rooms and storage are located behind the kitchen. Large windows and a natural material palette create a seamless feel between the indoors and out.

"The wood’s texture on all walls and ceilings of the interior envelope allows the shape of the vernacular-inspired main interior volume to be accentuated."

Vertical strips of white-painted populus paneling clads the exterior wall of the second-floor bedroom, creating a house-within-a-house effect. The sofa is by EBD and the chairs by APPAREILarchitecture.

Vertical strips of white-painted populus paneling clads the exterior wall of the second-floor bedroom, creating a house-within-a-house effect. The sofa is by EBD and the chairs by APPAREILarchitecture.

The 1,464-square-foot home is spread out across two floors, the lower of which contains a double-height, open-plan living space and dining area that connects to a spacious kitchen. The master bedroom and two additional bedrooms are located upstairs.

The populus paneling continues from the second floor down to the ceiling of the kitchen and around the island.

The populus paneling continues from the second floor down to the ceiling of the kitchen and around the island.

The kitchen countertops are quartz and the cabinets and backsplashes were constructed from Baltic birch.

The kitchen countertops are quartz and the cabinets and backsplashes were constructed from Baltic birch.

"As much through its volume and its design as through its exterior and interior coverings, the GRAND PIC cottage offers a timeless construction inspired by Nordic traditions."

Chalet Grand-Pic ground floor plan.

Chalet Grand-Pic ground floor plan.

Chalet Grand-Pic upper floor plan.

Chalet Grand-Pic upper floor plan.

Chalet Grand-Pic site plan.

Chalet Grand-Pic site plan.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: APPAREIL Architecture / @appareilarchitecture

Builder/ General Contractor: Martin Coley Construction

Structural Engineer: Geniex structure

Lighting Design: Hamster

Interior Design: APPAREIL Architecture

Other: Niconova

Photography: Felix Michaud