The minimal aesthetic and stark contrast of the Clearview Chalet by Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB) shows at its peak in Clearview Ontario’s Canadian winter months. Set in Ontario's ski country the gorgeous black facade of the building anchors the eye in the frosty white landscape.
I mean, just look at this stunning structure - its visual contrast is so strong that it's almost tactile!
This gorgeous utilitarian design elevates itself with contrast, colour, and shape. Built on a slope, the two-level Chalet appears to be just one with a pitched metal roof on the front elevation, configured in a vernacular that mirrors the traditional log cabin. The Chalet's exterior is constructed using pine through a doubled up application of the board and batten technique which was applied vertically on the top level and horizontally on the lower, and dressed with matte black paint.
Taking inspiration from the surrounding landscape, the interior of the Chalet is met almost seamlessly with the sweeping powdery slopes - no need for wall art in this Chalet thanks to tall expansive windows that frame breathtaking views of Nottawasaga Bay.
While its black exterior grounds the structure in its rustic mountain landscape, inside the crisp, cool monochromatic volume of the Chalet is mirrored by the austere beauty of its Canadian winter setting. As natural light floods through the structure, it refracts off the white walls and polished concrete floors, illuminating the space with a brilliance similar to that of snow.
The Clearview Chalet embraces the design principles necessary for the extremes of our Canadian climate - its steep sloping metal roof reduces the risk of a heavy snow load that could compromise a structure, while the deep alcove entrances provide cover from the harsh elements. And, in its most elemental, a fireplace swaddles its inhabitants with warmth and comfort. We Canadians know the aromatic smoke of wood burning in the dead of winter is unparalleled.
A bold design - executed with economy, efficiency and an eye to ease - the Clearview Chalet demonstrates rifting off the traditional vernacular with a high contrast style statement shows a retreat need not be rustic.
All images courtesy of Shai Gil
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Researched and written by Amanda Salmon, a Bachelor of Fine Art Graduate from the Alberta College of Art and Design.