Nick Dignard has been riding bikes since he was 11 years old. "Cross-country, downhill, road racing—I did it all," says Dignard, a photo and video producer based in Quebec. After wrapping up renovations on the home he shares with wife, Marie-Catherine P. Émond, Dignard decided the next project would be building a cabin with easy access to the outdoor sports they both enjoy.
The result, La Cabin Ride & Sleep, is a modern-rustic getaway within Le Maelström—a vast, mountainous wonderland of sports and adventure in Lac-Beauport, about 20 minutes from Quebec. Perched on one of the highest peaks, Mont Tourbillon, La Cabin is available to rent through Airbnb.
In addition to the proximity to so many outdoor activities, including biking, climbing, and snowshoeing, Dignard and Émond picked the cabin’s site for the 290-degree views of the surrounding mountains. "We chose this spot because it was the most exposed to the sunset," says Dignard. "We get really great sunsets here."
The 16-by-16-foot cabin was designed by Émond, an architect who started the firm M4 Architecture, and built by Dignard. Two "wings" sandwich a class A-frame volume, holding the two upstairs bedrooms: an en-suite and a children’s bunk room, both accessed by a ladder. Living spaces and a half-bath occupy the main floor.
To maximize views of the sky, window openings perforate the A-frame roof, line the bed nooks, and surround the couch, flooding the cedar-lined interior with natural light.
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For the build, Dignard took on much of the construction himself, setting up base camp at the location and living on-site, only bringing in a crew to help with framing. (His main residence is under a half hour from the cabin). He crafted most of the interior furnishings and accessories as well, from the dining table and stump chairs, to the loft ladder, kitchen cabinets, and ceiling lights composed of suspended wood planks.
The project took two years to complete, with the cabin becoming available in 2019. It can accommodate four people—six, if friends get cozy. "It’s small, but it’s very convenient," says Dignard. "We spend most of the time outside anyways."