Chalet Mont-Blanc: A Modern Wilderness Retreat

North of Montreal, in the Laurentian Mountains, sits a contemporary residence by architect Mariane Gourdeau.

Over the years, “chalet” has come to mean a lot of things, including oversized log houses with overstuffed interiors or sprawling base-mountain resorts. In Quebec, a chalet is any sort of country retreat, similar to a cabin in B.C. or a cottage in Ontario.

Designed by Montreal architect Mariane Gourdeau, this new residence is entirely modern. It is made with wood, but instead of roughly hewn logs, Gourdeau used sleek vertical slats. Its roof is sloping, but in a single pitch. This chalet also keeps its footprint tight, limiting the building’s impact on the landscape.





Set in Mont-Blanc, in the forested Laurentian Mountains just north of Montreal, the chalet provides its owners, a young family, with a comfortable place to retreat while also establishing a place from which to go out and explore the outdoors.






Inside, Gourdeau creates a similar balance between openness and retreat. Upstairs, the bedrooms include windows with carefully framed views. On the main level, though, a continuous wall of windows provides a 180-degree view of the surrounding forest. Furniture from Élement de Base balances comfort with contemporaneity. Gourdeau positioned the bedrooms along the eastern side of the house, setting them up for early morning sunlight. The shared spaces are toward the west. In the afternoons, sunlight warms those spaces, making them more comfortable for après-ski and relaxing, and in the evenings, sunsets can provide atmospheric lighting.