The Rise of the Contemporary Ski Home
The Swiss-style wooden chalets with their gently sloping gabled roofs and colourful shutters are synonymous with all things winter. A ski holiday in Europe wouldn’t’ be complete if these iconic buildings weren’t scattered across the backdrop of the mountains you were racing down. Even now, most newly built ski homes retain the aesthetic qualities of these traditional alpine structures – that is lots of wood, stone accents and big fireplaces. Whilst this traditional architecture is still the norm, recent years have shown a huge trend towards contemporary builds – think sleek clean lines, expansive windows and building materials other than the ubiquitous timber we have grown used to over the years.
Enter Chalet Anzere. Designed by Dutch architects SeARCh, this Swiss chalet is a stunning break from traditional alpine architecture. Sitting on a relatively tiny block of land, the main aim of the design was to make it compact and spacious at the same time. Impossible you might say? Not for these guys. Actually carved into the mountain, the three levels sit atop a garage, which are all connected via an elevator. An open-plan interior using cement, wood and glass maximises the indoor space, floor to ceiling windows open up the house to the mountains, and 3 metre-wide terraces on each floor make the most of the surrounding views.
It’s not just the luxury end of the ski home market that is leaning towards a more contemporary feel, these micro cabins were created to battle the lack of affordable housing in ski resorts. Originally designed in Norway by Reiulf Ramstad Architects, these connected cabins were designed to house a family whilst still allowing individuals some privacy. Divided into three units, the main central cabin houses the kitchen and living room with floor to celling windows. The two smaller cabins contain the bedrooms and bathrooms, and depending on how the cabins are orientated, there is a possibility to create a private outdoor living space. Not just for families, this multiple cabin concept could be vital to creating homes in ski towns where space is rare and expensive. By introducing a communal living space, and allowing individual bedroom cabins to be added as needed, these cabins provide a way for people to live that is relatively inexpensive and incredibly stylish.
It is clear that whilst these is a great fondness and appreciation for traditional alpine architecture, contemporary ski homes are starting to become the choice for many when building or buying homes in the mountains. Where dark and cosy retreats once reigned, sleek designs with lots of light have now taken over. The logs and antlers have been left behind, and we here at nidski like it.