In Canada, there are a plethora of winter sports to participate in. With the ski and snowboarding season in full swing, Canadians love to visit Ontario’s Blue Mountain ski Resort. As one of the top three Canadian destinations, Blue Mountain recently enhanced its nearby village and developed a quicker ski lift for more efficient runs. Situated on the Niagara Escarpment, the site offers 364 acres of terrain featuring 42 different trails. The village consists of shopping and dining amenities, hotels and conference buildings, and residences which are designed in a European ski resort theme. The structures share common design features including exposed wooden beams, stone columns, and pitch roofs. The chalet residences are typically two-storeys and provide enough space for a total of five occupants.
Inspired by the traditional farmhouses of the region, the architectural firm Atelier Kastelic Buffey was hired to create a distinctive 3,000 square foot winter chalet that would offer both practicality and functionality for visitors staying at the resort.
This monochromatic house, accommodating five residents, is designed to follow the typology of the traditional ski lodge - meaning recreational needs were the priority. Although the building is simple with its barn-like form, it displays a modern sensibility. The architects embraced the traditional chalet layout, placing the sleeping zone on the ground floor and the social spaces on the second floor, where the occupants can enjoy the panoramic mountain views.
On the ground floor, the main entrance to the house is hidden away from the road. It is blocked by a white screen followed by a mudroom and a two-car garage. This level is home to 3 single bedrooms and a master bedroom at the end of a corridor. Coming back from a snowy day at the village, visitors can swiftly take off their snow gear and head to their private rooms where they can change and refresh for the rest of the day.
After an invigorating time outdoors - whether that's tubing, snowboarding or skiing - Canadians enjoy relaxing in a sauna or a hot tub! This chalet provides the sauna on the lower level and a convenient direct access to a hot tub outdoors. What an ideal way to regenerate for more winter play!
The upper level is designed to accommodate social gatherings and entertainment. The light wooden floors and detailing contrast nicely against the white walls and exude a sense of modernity. Take a look at the beautiful white marble island and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. In addition, the chunky looking wooden table and matching chairs bring a rustic style into the arrangement. I love the generous size of the wooden table with the Hans Wegner Wishbone Chairs.
The upper level feels very spacious due to the high vaulted ceilings and large windows. According to the architect, the combination of the white walls and sloped ceiling planes really emphasize the pure feeling of the snow settling outdoors 2. Complete with a fireplace and comfy seating, the living room is ideal for indoor activities - like Trivial Pursuit which was invented by Canadian Chris Haney. Grab your family and friends, some hot cocoa, and enjoy!
The design of the chalet is successful because of its marriage between practicality and luxe comforts. I value the separation of zones - with the private sanctuaries on the lower level and the communal space on top. While the exterior blends the traditional barn typology with a modern grace, the interior is fresh, crisp and contemporary. Gathered round the fireplace and the exceptional mountain vistas, the occupants are able embrace our Canadian winters without the frostbite!
To learn more about their impressive designs, visit Atelier Kastelic Buffey
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All photos courtesy of: Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc.
Researched and written by Karolina Pisanko, Double Major in Architectural Studies, University of Toronto