Architecture

January 13 2009




The boxy and containery appearance of residential buildings currently attracting accolades and attention is starting to get boring. However, simplicity, clarity and openness are qualities that continue to appeal.



While this is yet another house of stacked boxes, we cannot help but admire the vacation residence clinging dramatically to the sloping hill up in the trees of the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada.



Locals, used to a more traditional ski chalet in this popular ski resort area, refer to the building as the cube, a name choice requiring no imagination. When the Montreal-based architectural firm Saucier + Perrotte won the Canadian Architect magazine’s Award of Excellence for this project in 2004, the magazine called the entry the Lac Superieur Residence in Lac Superieur, Mont-Tremblant.



Whatever the moniker, the house stuns with its elegant lines, stylish use of materials and lack of unnecessary distractions.



As it should be, the building’s real redeeming features reveal themselves inside. The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows provide all the visual stimulus you’ll need, and at the same time, demand a streamlined approach to everything else in the interior.



The boxy-cubey theme continues inside as do the color scheme and the lack of distracting materials. The residence is divided into three functional areas’ sleeping quarters on the top floor, middle and entry floor for living and the lowest level for play.



Although the building looks like a disorganized corner of a stylish container-port it exudes a solitary, silent grace that allows the distinctive, four seasons of the mountain to provide the main attraction.



The building meets the criteria for a log cabin as described in the area’s design guidelines for recreational development yet, fortunately, fails to resemble a Tyrolean mini castle. - Tuija Seipell





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