This timber-clad ski chalet has a crystalline form designed to "shed snow" from the roof and an elevated living room that optimises views across Canada's Whistler Valley (+ slideshow).
Vancouver studio Patkau Architects designed the 460-square-metre home for Martin and Sue Hadaway on a steep slope in Whistler, a popular ski resort located 80 miles north of Vancouver in British Columbia. The architects named the project Hadaway House after the clients.
The building's unusual faceted shape is the result of an awkwardly shaped, steep site situated between craggy boulders.
"The site is a difficult wedge shape, which offers just enough room for a garage and narrow entrance on the street side at the top of the slope," said the architects.
The steep incline of the roof is designed to allow drifting snow to slide off when too much builds up.
"The exterior form of the house is shaped by the intersection of two principal considerations: the first is the allowable building footprint and height, and the second is the need to shed snow from the roof into appropriate storage areas within the site," the architects added.
Concrete slabs enclosing the ground floor of the house provide insulation from the extremes of the Canadian climate, while the upper levels are constructed from a steel and timber frame.
The whole building is clad with planks of ipe, a variety of hardwood typically grown in parts of South and Central America.
A garage set into the back of the house provides a space to store ski equipment, and to dry and launder wet clothing.
The garage door is covered with slats of the same wood, making it almost indistinguishable from the cladding. The main entrance is set into a tall fissure in the structure to one side of the garage.
An open-plan living area featuring sunken seating occupies the entire first floor of the building.
The faceted roof results in irregularly shaped walls and ceiling that are punctuated by slices of glazing.
Large expanses of glass provide views over the Whistler Valley and sliding doors lead onto a balcony that is sheltered by the overhang of the roof.
This sloping canopy is supported by a series of slanted columns and fronted by a glass balustrade so as not to block the views from the lounge.
Inside, a staircase rises from one side of the living space to a master suite located on the smallest and uppermost level, in the apex of the roof.
A wooden walkway that sits in this crevice crosses above the living room, connecting the bedroom to a small study.
Guest bedrooms and a second living room are located on the ground floor, which is linked to the first floor living room by a further staircase set against the back wall of the garage.
An external stair leads from the ground floor sitting room directly onto the slope, which is sheltered by the overhang of the first floor.
Photography is by James Dow at Patkau Architects.
Architect: Patkau Architects
Project Team: John Patkau, Patricia Patkau with Lawrence Grigg, Stephanie Coleridge, Marc Holland, Peter Suter, Shane O'Neill, and Mike Green
Structural: Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
Envelope: Spratt Emanuel Engineering Ltd.
Geotechnical consultant: Horizon Engineering
Contractor: Alta Lake Lumber Co.