These Contemporary Lake Tahoe Chalets Have Ski-In, Ski-Out Access

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By Anna Jones
Located at the Northstar Resort in Truckee, California, these LEED Gold residences offer views of the slopes—and a few are looking for buyers.

Designed by San Francisco-based architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the Stellar Residences and Townhomes are a complex of six single-family residences and 11 townhomes that are energy-efficient and conceptually progressive. The structures are nestled in a dense forest of pines and firs as they follow the curve of the ski slope. 

Overall site plan

Overall site plan

Traditional mountain construction materials like warm wood and glass, plus the buildings' exposed structure, reflect the surrounding residential character and create a strong physical and visual connection to the setting. These modernized chalets promote indoor/outdoor living at its finest.  

The 2,100-square-foot townhomes are efficient and strategically compact in form. Sited to step down the ski slope, the bedrooms, bath, and support spaces are organized along a central spine. The main focal point is the great room, which provides direct indoor/outdoor connections. The simple, shed roof massings are purposefully offset, both vertically and horizontally, to provide privacy between neighboring units. 

Western red cedar siding wraps the exterior of the townhomes as they step down the ski slope.  Anderson E-windows frame views of the mountainside. 

Western red cedar siding wraps the exterior of the townhomes as they step down the ski slope.  Anderson E-windows frame views of the mountainside. 

The subtle offset between townhomes creates private deck space for each unit. 

The subtle offset between townhomes creates private deck space for each unit. 

A Town & Country fireplace anchors the living room, providing a warm space to enjoy the views of the outdoors.  

A Town & Country fireplace anchors the living room, providing a warm space to enjoy the views of the outdoors.  

Adjacent to the staircase, large spans of glazing frame views to the slopes beyond.  Wood stair treads and a steel guardrail modernize the circulation space.  A George Nelson bench sits below the window, decorated by a Ohio Design Blocky. 

Adjacent to the staircase, large spans of glazing frame views to the slopes beyond.  Wood stair treads and a steel guardrail modernize the circulation space.  A George Nelson bench sits below the window, decorated by a Ohio Design Blocky. 

Upon entry into a 3,400-square-foot single-family unit, large windows provide stunning views of the mountain ranges beyond. Interior spaces are filled with soft, northern light during the day. The master suite offers a perch above the slope, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides. A guest master suite, two additional bedrooms, and a media room provide ample guest accommodations on the lower level. 

Built-in storage solutions and floating shelves provide ample storage in the main living space.  Homerwood Hickory flooring and exposed structure reach outwards to the views beyond. 

Built-in storage solutions and floating shelves provide ample storage in the main living space.  Homerwood Hickory flooring and exposed structure reach outwards to the views beyond. 

A wood-framed banquette punctuates the dining space.  Herman Miller Eames Shell Chairs and Alvar Aalto Pendants decorate the eating area. 

A wood-framed banquette punctuates the dining space.  Herman Miller Eames Shell Chairs and Alvar Aalto Pendants decorate the eating area. 

Surrounded by glazing on three sides, the master is a suite above the slopes, surrounded by nature. 

Surrounded by glazing on three sides, the master is a suite above the slopes, surrounded by nature. 

Western red cedar, stained black, gray, and natural, wrap the facades of the residences. Roof canopies reach outwards to engage with the homes' setting. Windows by Sierra Pacific provide incredible views of the surroundings. 

Western red cedar, stained black, gray, and natural, wrap the facades of the residences. Roof canopies reach outwards to engage with the homes' setting. Windows by Sierra Pacific provide incredible views of the surroundings. 

These Contemporary Lake Tahoe Chalets Have Ski-In, Ski-Out Access - Photo 10 of 11 -
These Contemporary Lake Tahoe Chalets Have Ski-In, Ski-Out Access - Photo 11 of 11 -

A natural and sustainable palette of materials wrap the exterior and interior of the homes. The simplicity of the exterior cedar planks carries through to the interior. Built to achieve LEED Gold certification, these mountain chalets are a stunning example of sustainable and ecological development. 

The Stellar Residences and Townhomes, part of the Mountainside community at Lake Tahoe's Northstar ski resort, are a recipient of the 2017 AIA Housing Award. A few residences are still up for sale, starting at $3,600,000.


Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Builder: SMC Construction

Structural Engineer: Holmes Culley

Civil Engineer: Welsh Hagen, Sierra Land Solutions

LEED Consultant: Bender Engineering

Mechanical, Plumbing: Point Energy Innovations

Electrical: Engineering Enterprise