This Modern Cabin in Canada Looks Like a Gigantic Pair of Binoculars

This Modern Cabin in Canada Looks Like a Gigantic Pair of Binoculars

By Michele Koh Morollo
Perched on a mountain in Quebec, Canada, this modern cabin resembles a pair of binoculars peering out over the land.

At 888 square feet, La Binocle has a small footprint that minimizes its impact upon the land. Rather than alter the site’s existing topography, Montreal–based Naturehumaine built the cabin as close as possible to the cliff, and the interiors project outwards to take in stunning views. The sloping roofs on the two volumes call to mind the profile of a bird gliding over the cliff. 

Naturehumaine’s founder Stéphane Rasselet says that the cabin's location on Crowhill Road had some influence on the design. "We came up with the idea of two crows perched on the hill and observing the landscape. This inspired the black, burned wood exterior cladding that’s reminiscent of the jet black and glowing plumage of crows," says Rasselet. 

La Binocle is segmented into two volumes that reach outwards towards the tree canopy.

The first volume contains the living areas, while the second contains two bedrooms.

The volume with the bedrooms is angled slightly towards the east, with views towards the horizon behind the mountain. The volume with the common areas is oriented more towards the west, with a terrace poised to take in the best sunset views. 

The entrance is located between the two volumes, which are oriented in slightly different directions. 

The home's charred timber exterior resembles a crow's plumage.

"What interested us the most was to try to find a concept that would be completely in symbiosis with the environment, the cabin being simply a place to enjoy nature. With deliberately modest dimensions, we try to show that architecture, whatever its dimensions, may be oneiric, and that the concept of a small chalet may seem to be close to the scale of an object that would seem to have simply been dropped there," says Rasselet. 

The living room provides sweeping views of mountain vistas.

Floor-to-ceiling windows fill this bedroom with natural light.

La Binocle is perched high atop a hill, maximizing views of the valley below.

The bathroom features clean, modern finishes.

"At night, the chalet is transformed. When it is dark, the mirror effect of the reflection of the interior space in the windows completely changes the cabin’s relationship to its site and makes it appear larger," adds Rasselet.

The cabin has raw concrete foundations set upon the rocky cape.

La Binocle floor plan

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Naturehumaine / @_naturehumaine

Builder: Mille Pieds Carrés 

Structural Engineer: Geniex 


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.