This modern ski chalet is sited on the steep slope of former ski hill, Mont-Jasper, near the village of Saint-Donat, Quebec. At an elevation of 2,435 feet above sea level, the site is among the highest residential building lots in the Laurentians and Lanaudiere regions. From this elevation, surrounded by a dense forest of spruce and maple trees, the chalet commands 100-mile panoramic views over beautiful Lac Archambault.
The 2,750 SF home was designed as a weekend retreat for a family with two school age children. Due to the steep mountainside site, the house was built on 8” x 8” western red cedar pilotis. Elevating the house allows snow and spring run-off from melting snow to flow freely beneath the house. The forest floor of native ferns and moss reveals itself beneath the home each spring.
The home is entered via an entry bridge with the main living level 30’ above grade. The main floor has an open floor plan with lightly stained 1” x 6” white ash flooring. The kitchen, dining area, and living room are open to one another. Spanning the length of the kitchen and dining areas is a 27’ long bay window with an American cherry window seat. Below the upholstered seat cushions is concealed storage. A dramatic panoramic window wall runs the full width of the bay and focuses views from the main living area on the expansive views beyond. A continuous clerestory window runs the full length of the house high on the southeast facing entry façade. The kitchen has a large central island with an American cherry counter surface. The island and the long window seat provide ample and comfortable common areas for the family and guests to gather after a long day of skiing. The island contains the gas cook top and a prep sink so that the host never has to turn their back to the dramatic north western views or the family and friends they are entertaining. The south side of the kitchen and dining room are built into a shallow bay that articulates itself on the entry façade. The efficient use of this cantilevered bay coupled with that of the larger bay on the north side of the house allows for a slender and efficient 14’-2” deep main structural footprint. The living room occupies the south end of the home where daylight is able stream in from windows on three sides. A minimal, fireplace from Belgium anchors the living room, while another cozy window seat with beautiful mountain views provides additional seating. Directly adjacent the living room through a wall of glass sliding doors is an expansive deck for use and enjoyment during warmer months. At the north end of the main living level is the master suite. The master bedroom and bathroom also benefit from large windows that maintain the home’s visual connection to the surrounding landscape.
On the lower level, the kid’s bedrooms as well the guest bedroom, steam room, and lower living room all enjoy direct views to the lake and forest. One of the kid’s rooms has a custom designed birch plywood bunk bed, while the other has a cozy modern built-in bed that elevates the top of the mattress flush with the window sill. The spa occupies the lower deck where it enjoys private framed views of the forest beyond.
The exterior of the house is uniformly clad in dark stained white cedar siding. The slope of the metal roof matches the slope of the mountain. The exposed deep eaves of the roof as well as the finish material of the ceiling throughout the interior of the main living level is square-grooved clear western red cedar. The chalet's thermal envelope is highly insulated and was carefully detailed to minimize thermal bridging and energy consumption.