A cabin designed around the view and the quest to maximize sun light

Pierre Marchand Architects have designed and supervised the construction of a new cabin in France’s Chamonix Valley. The site is located within a residential compound built in the 50’s. A cabin dating from the original master plan was on the lot. The location benefits from sweeping and stunning views over the Mont Blanc skyline. This majestic view was the starting point of the design.

After a first programmatic study, it quickly became clear that the existing cabin was not suited for its new use. Thermal constraints and the project’s goals didn’t justify a remodeling of the existing structure. The decision to build a new cabin was therefore taken. It opened the way for a contemporary design allowing a full control over the energy consumption. Thoughts were given to maximizing the heating and ventilation systems. A double split flow system heat exchanger design coupled to an efficient oil boiler was adopted.

The project was designed around two themes: the view and the quest to maximize direct sun light. A heliodon allows to analyze the sun’s impact on the lot and the building. The 3 dimensional modeling of the project on the actual site allowed the architects to precisely appreciate the amount of natural light coming into the future cabin and frame future views over the Mont Blanc from the interiors. Designed with a mixed insulation, the house is entirely built with a concrete structure and a larch wood panel cladding system.

The larch panels are designed as a louvered cladding system for the main facades in order to keep views from bathrooms located on the ground and 1st floors. The larch wood used for the facades has special heated treatment in order to hold the color and stop the soot. The project is set up in its natural surroundings with a stoned base with a log cabin on top. The base houses the technical functions and the garage. The project was built over a short 9 months period.








Design and info © Pierre Marchand Architects

Images © Pascal Tournaire

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