Appareil Architecture pride themselves on weaving a Nordic influence into everything they touch. So it couldn’t be more fitting that the Montreal-based firm were approached to fulfil a chalet design inspired by traditional shapes and the natural landscape. Steeped in simplicity and sensitivity to the woodland surrounds, the architecture is tailor-made to its residents.
Traditionally, the Chalet design is found in the Alpine region, so it was vital the Appareil team immersed themselves in the woodlands. Guided and inspired by the terrain’s characteristics, Appareil have created a unique symbiosis between architecture and nature. Two seperate pavilions emerge from behind the trees, as contemporary models of the Swiss Chalet. Black cladding wraps both of the buildings; the larger a two-storey living unit and the smaller a storage lover’s delight, spoilt with the addition of an outdoor shower. From the mountainous outcrop, a pathway merges into the cedar sidewalk that joins the monochrome exteriors.
A matte black impression on the outside is by no means replicated on the inside. The interior optimises the qualities of the environment to deliver soothing spaces that breathe fresh air and replenishment. As light spills in from the black-framed openings, it bounces off the brightness of materials and the volume of cathedral ceilings. The large-scale windows and the Russian plywood walls provide a link to both levels, aptly revealing Appareil Architecture’s Nordic roots. Evoking a warm and sober feeling, the living spaces are host to authentically Canadian furniture, restricted to a palette of black and polished concrete to tie in seamlessly with the ever-green outdoors. And of course it wouldn’t be a cabin for the cold climate if it didn’t have a freestanding fireplace ready to warm you up. There’s plenty of room to entertain, fit for family and friends to join in on a weekend away. It’s relaxed living driven by taking it back to basics, where the demands of technology and time can be escaped.
In the evergreen mountainous region of Austen, Quebec, we have found our chalet to covet. The Grand Pic Chalet is one part refined, one part raw and all parts marvellously minimal — a timeless construction inspired by the very essence of Nordic design.
‘The wood’s texture on all walls and ceilings of the interior envelope allows the shape of the vernacular-inspired main interior volume to be accentuated.’
— Appareil Architecture