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