La Luge, a modern ski cabin in Quebec | Yiacouvakis Hamelin
La Luge is a small vacation cottage in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. Not far from a major ski hill, it was designed by Yiacouvakis Hamelin Architectes as a retreat for enjoying the winter season and its activities. To ensure comfort in cold weather, the cottage is equipped with a fireplace, cozy built-in beds, a sauna and a hot tub. Window walls on all four sides connect the occupants with the landscape while the surrounding forest maintains their privacy.
The main entrance leads to a convenient foyer/mudroom area with a bench, a large closet for bulky winter coats, and hooks for hanging items to dry. Many small house plans have the entrance opening directly into the living area, with not even a coat closet nearby. That might be acceptable (though far from ideal) in warm dry climates, but it wouldn’t work in places that get a lot of snow or rain.
The open living space is fairly compact yet looks spacious. There is a sliding door between the living area and the master bedroom right at the window wall. When open, it allows for wider views and an increased sense of spaciousness for both rooms. The architects also kept the ceiling of the adjacent bathroom low enough that sight-lines and light from the entry windows beyond could pass over it. In the kitchen, the fridge is tucked into its own alcove facing away from the living area, which should suppress the fridge hum that can be a real annoyance in a small space. As with the rest of the cottage, wood interior finishes add warmth to the room.
The large second bedroom is a bunkroom designed for flexibility of use. With a pair of bunkbeds and a built-in king-sized bed, it can be used as either a children’s room or a guest bedroom. A large open area provides play space for the kids, and sliding doors open it to or close it off from the main living area as needed.
About a quarter of the 1,300 ft2 (120.8 m2) floor plan is devoted to a huge spa-like bathroom, with separate bathtub and walk-in shower, and the adjacent sauna. If that had been omitted (there is a second bathroom), the cottage could have been made significantly smaller or the space could have been used for another bedroom or two.
For another take on the modern vacation cabin in the woods see the modern vacation cottages in Sweden by Thomas Sandell.
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Photographs by Francis Pelletier, courtesy of Yiacouvakis Hamelin Architectes.
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