Completed in 2023, the house – entitled Élément Tremblant – is a 1,400-square foot (130-square metre) retreat that recalls the glitz of the region’s classic ski culture with a contemporary twist.
“The suave adventurous spirit of the early pioneers like Stan Ferguson and Hans Falkner, as well as 1940’s après-ski paintings…served as inspiration for the design.” Stephane Gaulin-Brown said. “The design also grew out of the natural context: the ferns, the birch trees, the deer, and the large glacial boulders strewn across the forest floor.”
The primary feature is a long shed roof with an ochre-coloured wooden soffit that curves from the exterior wall up to the edge of the cantilever. The roof references a traditional Quebecois roof form with up-curved ends and gives a sense of lightness to the chalet “like it was rising up in the air”.
The tongue-and-groove wood of the soffit turns down the wall to form the upper portion of the facade. Below it, black board and batten siding clads the exterior walls between large, black-framed windows.
The house is organized in a simple double-loaded bar. The entry, secondary bedrooms and bathrooms are aligned facing down the sloped site, while the primary bedroom and open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area form a band that looks up the slope to the forest vista dotted with glacial boulders.
On the southeast corner, the windows peak and wrap around a spa. Meanwhile, the northeast corner is subtracted with a small porch off the primary bedroom.
The interiors centre the open living space, which is wrapped in warm stain-resistant Russian plywood and copper-toned metal panels that bounce light from thin, suspended fixtures.
The sloped roof forms a trapezoidal space that peaks at 12 feet, but the wall of windows is capped just above the average height of a person.
Poured concrete forms a solid base for the powder-coated steel fireplace – a high-efficiency model manufactured locally by Stûv – and flat storage cabinet that rounds the corner to the primary suite.
“Recessed uplit LED lighting along the length of the main living space adds drama, ultimately making the living room into a kind of film set ready for après-ski hangouts,” Gaulin-Brown said.
In the kitchen, thin black hardware and square tile accent the warm wood cabinetry and white countertops.
“Historical images, sourced with permission from the National Library of Québec, are framed around the house to make the sense of history visceral,” Gaulin-Brown explained. “In the master bedroom, a historical photo of the original Mont Tremblant steam train is printed on a large scale across the whole wall.”
The exposed concrete floor conceals a radiant heating system that warms the house and serves as a heat sink in the winter.
In a similar black and warm wood palette, YH2’s Quebec ski chalet also draws in light with an upward-sloping roof, but the Laurentian mountain house employs a V-shaped profile, lifting the roof on both sides like wings.
Client: Alex Roy
Contractor: Daniel Brisson
Designer: Stephane Gaulin-Brown