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Wooden ski chalet quebec

Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet

Montreal architect Stephane Gaulin-Brown has placed a single-slope roof with a curved soffit on top of a ski chalet to open it up to the forests of Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

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.

Wooden soffit and curved roof with snow drifts
Stephane Gaulin-Brown created a chalet in Quebec

"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".

Wooden roof with windows to an interior sauna
Wooden beams wrap the exterior

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.

Curved roof with snow drifts
The roof slopes up to let in light and views

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.

Wooden interior of a sloped living room with steel fireplace
The living areas include plywood and a powder-coated steel fireplace

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.

Glass windows with views of snow in the kitchen
Large glass windows frame the kitchen

"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.

Bathroom with white walls and concrete floors
The house has a radiant heating system in the flooring

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.

The photography is by Stephane Gaulin-Brown and Valerie Lacroix.

Project credits:
Client: Alex Roy
Contractor: Daniel Brisson
Designer: Stephane Gaulin-Brown

More images and plans

Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet plans
Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet
Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet
Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet
Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet
Stephane Gaulin-Brown places curved roof on Quebec chalet