Alta Chalet

Location: The Town of the Blue Mountains, ON
Architect: Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc.
Date of Completion: 2015

OAA Design Excellence Awards Finalist

A recreational property in the Town of the Blue Mountains municipality, the Alta Chalet’s design references the local vernacular barn structures. The typical barn typology is annexed by two single-storey box-like structures—one for the entry and the other to accommodate parking and ski tuning. The black volume stands out strikingly against rural setting during winter season.

Site plan
Drawing Credit: Atelier Kastelic Buffey

Floor plans
Drawing Credit: Atelier Kastelic Buffey

Drawing Credit: Atelier Kastelic Buffey

Located on a cul-de-sac within a rural sub-division tucked between a protected ravine and the Niagara Escarpment, the Alta Chalet is dramatically located in a position that optimizes its views to the adjacent mountain.

Aerial of the Alta Chalet with Blue Mountain in the back ground 
Photo Credit: The Sky Guys

Designed for a family of five as a seasonal retreat, the build had a modest budget and the intent was to minimize construction costs while providing an elegant home with an extensive program. The program was unconventionally flipped with the public spaces on the upper level where the views of the ski hill is shared. Natural lighting and ventilation were also maximized with large-scale windows located in primary spaces and most utility spaces throughout. 

Second floor living room
Photo Credit: Shai Gil

Kitchen area
Photo Credit: Shai Gil

The elegant, stoic forms of traditional barn structures, merged with the practical utility of suburban Canadian living, is encapsulated in the Alta Chalet’s design and planning. More than a seasonal home, the chalet aspires to re-evaluate the role of the typical suburban home and assign it architectural validity through a rigorous deconstruction and thoughtful recalibration. 

Photo Credit: Bob Gundu

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