Chalet surrounded by nature
Two-story chalet in Toronto. Architecture between landscapes and natural materials

The chalet designed by architecture studio AKB - Atelier KastelicBuffey, optimizes the scenic opportunities offered by the Blue Mountains, a city in Grey County located two hours northwest of Toronto

The Chalet was designed as a two-storey shelter for a family of five. Located near the end of a cul-de-sac in a private area of a ski club, hidden between a protected ravine and the Niagara escarpment, the site is characterized by an abundance of deciduous and coniferous trees which, in summer, offer shade and privacy

Canadian nature

Successfully integrated into its context, the project responds to the scale of neighbouring houses while offering a distinct interpretation of a conventional ski chalet. In contrast to a typical and expected architectural vocabulary of deep dormer windows and cornices, the Chalet communicates through contemporary design elegant details derived from the local vernacular tradition of the barn

Canadian nature

Its iconic presence, defined by a reduced black and white colour scheme and a narrow, clean, double-sloping roof edge, integrates spatial and economic efficiency. Public spaces occupy the top floor to facilitate appreciation of the views of the surrounding ski hills. Here, the family reunites in the kitchen, dining and living areas; a private place with access from a large south facing outdoor deck completes the accommodation

Canadian nature

Below, the ground floor includes the more intimate functions of the bed and bathroom, along with a sauna and direct access to the outdoor Jacuzzi terrace. The main access to the chalet is particularly well concealed, mediated by a covered, shielded and articulated entrance with vertically oriented wooden slats painted white

Canadian nature

On the inside, the quality of the exterior is reflected through a sober but refined palette of materials: every aspect is meticulously detailed. Walls and sloping ceiling planes form a sculptural composition in opaque white that amplifies the winter light and purity of the snow outside, enhancing the expression of light and shadow throughout the day

Canadian nature

The wide plank oak floors and white oak cladding provide warmth. The play of the blackened steel cladding of the chimney establishes a focal point in the main living area, whose threshold is bounded by a flamed basalt hearth

Canadian nature

With sustainability at the forefront of the design process, the requirement for durability and longevity of materials was paramount, so low-maintenance pre-finished Canadian pine cladding and a high-performance metal roof were used for the exterior of the building

Canadian nature

To further reduce the ecological footprint, energy consumption has been reduced through a high-performance glazing system, radiant floor heating, additional insulation and a wood-burning fireplace. Natural lighting and ventilation are optimised thanks to the availability of numerous large, functional windows

Canadian nature

The building establishes a prototype of hybrid houses, inspired by the long tradition of agricultural architecture. Combining the practical utility required of contemporary life with the dignified stoicism of traditional barn structures

Canadian nature

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