Alta Chalet is a minimalist architecture project located in Collingwood, Canada, designed by AKB. Successfully integrating into its context, the project responds deferentially to the scale of the neighboring houses while offering a distinct interpretation of a conventional ski chalet. In contrast to a typical and expected architectural vocabulary of fussy dormers and deep eaves, Alta Chalet communicates an ethos of contemporary design and elegant detailing that derives from the local vernacular tradition of the barn. Its iconic presence – defined by a reductive black-and-white color scheme and a tight, clean, gabled roof edge – complements the intelligence of its spatial and economic efficiency.
The inversion of program results in the public spaces occupying the top floor to facilitate appreciation of long vistas to the surrounding ski hills. Here, the family congregates in the open-concept kitchen, dining and living areas; a private den with access to a large south-facing outdoor deck completes the arrangement. Below, the ground floor comprises more intimate functions of bed and bath, along with a sauna and direct access to the outdoor hot tub deck. A garage accommodates two vehicles, with extra room for tuning skis and other recreational equipment. Notably, primary access to the chalet is neatly concealed, mediated through a screened and covered entry passage articulated with vertically oriented wood slats painted white. This device achieves not only privacy and protection from the elements, but also a diffusely lit transitionary sequence for those arriving and departing.
Photography by Shai Gil