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.
Text copyright 2013 SmallHouseBliss. All Rights Reserved.
Nicely designed and beautifully crafted.
Reg; ” the cottage could have been made significantly smaller or the space could have been used for another bedroom or two.” Yes! Optional ideas or use of space for someone wishing to pursue or employ a similar design, but this design is purposeful and intentional for the owners it was designed for. The essentially open design with no curtains and expansive, dedicated main bath facilities, tells a lot about the owners and the siting. Less emphasis on the main bath would create a different use of space for someone else.
I do question the construction/engineering of the slated tangential/side screening. The roof portion looks under built to handle its own weight, let alone additional loads of snow and ice build up. And, open element constructions of this type, are best built of laminated woods or metal, not dimensional woods of a high aspect ration cross section. Warping from weather is usually the result, and in short order, it looks pretty bad.
Use of bright woods/finish on the exterior looks great for a year or so, but soon stains from salts being leached from the wood and finish. Use should be limited to well protected areas. Wood is beautiful, but it is being over used esthetically today, by to many designers, and we need to use a lot less wood from standing forests. My own common sense esthetic for modern design finishes, is cementatious rammed earth/concrete constructions/products, stone, glass, metal, and a deft conservative use of wood on the interior or well sheltered exterior areas. And common sense exterior finishes that don’t need any more maintenance then the occasional or seasonal wash down.. Exposed painted/stained exterior wood, should never be employed it is expensive in terms of materials and labor and pollutes the environment.
“significantly smaller space” Yes! This where we all need to go, the true green is much smaller, just enough living spaces, thoughtfully arranged and detailed, and taking advantage of available natural heating and cooling.