This Dramatic A-Frame Cabin Channels Canada’s Rich Maritime History

This Dramatic A-Frame Cabin Channels Canada’s Rich Maritime History

By Kathryn M.
The design for the cabin was inspired by the angular forms of nautical flags and sails.

The Charlevoix region of Québec features dramatic landscapes along the Saint Lawrence River—a major Canadian maritime route that stretches from Lake Ontario out to meet the Atlantic Ocean. A new lodge by Quebec City–based Bourgeois / Lechasseur architectes was inspired by the area's nautical history, with a sloping A-frame design that references sails and nautical flags in the wind.  

Cabin A by Bourgeois / Lechasseur architectes is perched on the mountainside overlooking the Saint Lawrence River in Québec, Canada. The "A" in the name references the nautical alphabet of the International Code of Signals (ICS), while the home's angular form was derived from the maritime Alfa signal flag and the shape of a ship's sail facing the wind.

Inside, nods to naval architecture continue with wood-clad walls and ceilings, as well as a simple yet functional use of space. Black fixtures and trim accentuate the angular shapes. 

Located within close proximity to popular ski resorts, the 2,400-square-foot cabin can accommodate up to 12 holiday-goers. A minimalist interior clad in natural pine plywood enhances the A-frame design while dark-colored accents create a simple contrasting color scheme. The straight-forward layout features a large great room on the upper level, complete with a south-facing wall of windows that form a viewing gallery of the surrounding wilderness.

A built-in bench offers a contemplative spot to relax and take in the views.

Opposite the living room, sliding glass doors wrap around the dining area and kitchen, providing access to the large terrace. A large table seats up to 12, with additional space along the island.

Black kitchen cabinetry and appliances reinforce the interior's contrasting color palette. The double-height space also emphasizes the structure's A-frame design with soaring ceilings.

A ship-like ladder off the kitchen wall gives access to a small nook nestled under the apex of the angled roof. An inset piece of wooden artwork depicts the region's terrain.

Stairs lead down to the home's three private bedrooms, as well as a dorm-like sleeping area and a small recreation space.

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A look at the dorm-like sleeping area, complete with custom bunks to accommodate six guests.

A large mudroom provides a practical space for changing and storing winter gear.

A small bathroom is tucked away near the mudroom, hidden behind a pocket door.

Outside, the contrasting color scheme continues with light and dark wood cladding along the facade and underneath various covered porches. Emphasizing the overall A-frame design is an equally dark metal roof that slopes down to the meet the ground, visually anchoring the structure into the steep hillside. The home's lower level is also partially burred into the sloping terrain to minimize its visibility on approach.

To the left, the home's main entrance is nestled underneath the sloping roof. Views of the river from a large terrace reference the expansive perspective from a ship's upper deck.

Seemingly carved out of the sloping roofline, the terrace is clad in contrasting birch plywood.

Completed in December 2019, Cabin A is the first in a series of five other vacation homes already in the planning stages. The overall concept was collaboratively developed by both architects and graphic artists, illustrating the potential of merging teams of like-minded designers. 

Similar to the interior's contrasting color scheme, lighter wood paneling contrasts against black wood cladding to emphasize the home's graphic shapes.

While the cabin was built for year-round use, its location in the village of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François in Québec, Canada, makes for a cozy winter retreat while skiing at nearby slopes.

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