LE NOUVEAU CHALET
March 12, 2014
The Alpine ski chalet is probably one of the most reconizable architectural tropes around. The steep pitch of the roof, the pronounced rafter overhang, the use of insulating massive stone blocks and roughly hewn timber. It’s also one of the most ecologically sound structures: everything is sourced locally – hence the change in material from region to region. Skiing Lech, Zürs and St Anton, I noticed that the traditional genre is being quite skillfully adapted to a more modern aesthetic. A more refined pitch, a more horizontal plan, timber shingles in place of rustic logs. One of the most inspiring of these featured a structural supporting wall extending beyond the plumb line – and filled with logs to be used in the open fireplaces. As the season continues, the log supply would become depleted, creating an ever-evolving sculpture. Those clever Austrians!