French design firm Studio Razavi modernizes an Alpine chalet home located in the village of Manigod in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France -- a popular ski destination.
With very little of architectural expression allowed due to complying with strict local architecture guidelines, the Mountain House's height, width ratio to roof slope, building material and window sizes are strictly controlled to enforce what is locally perceived as patrimony protection for traditional mountain homes.
Boasting a wooden composition with concrete accents, architect Alireza Razavi wanted to try to reinterpret the home in a more contemporary way; "In order to circumvent these limitations we took great care in analysing historical buildings so as to understand what their forms accomplished and how they shaped the local architectural culture. We then integrated this information into our design, avoiding all artificial and obsolete elements while making sure that the building was entirely code compliant."
Configured in a stacked layout, the Mountain House includes distinct layers with separate programs, where the ground floor provides technical spaces including the entrance and car parking, while the first floor contains all the bedrooms, followed by the second floor accommodating the living spaces.
The entrance is incorporated into the concrete base that also leads to a small space featuring a stone floor where occupants can change in and out of ski gear. For the interior, materials such as walls clad in wooden boards, with some painted surfaces break up the unity of the wood. In addition, artificial stone tiles are implemented in the bathrooms to introduce a texture, as well as complementing the natural palette overall.
Razavi added; "We wanted to make sure that the design reflected some of the historic features of this place, and I think this is how design becomes more interesting than just being disruptive for the sake of it."
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