Alpine Chalet was designed by AKB Architects as a contemporary barnlike structure located on a cul-de-sac in a private ski club development in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. This chalet was designed as a social hub for an active family of six. With 4,650 square feet of living space on the ground and second floors, a generous double height kitchen, dining and living room facing the ski hill serves as the family’s central gathering space offering extensive views and abundant natural light.
The master suite is also located on the ground floor with children’s bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor mezzanine above. The basement incorporates a large recreation room, guest bedroom with en-suite and a spa zone consisting of sauna, steam shower, powder room and change area with direct access to a hot tub deck. The home features several challenging architectural details, including a large cantilevered stone fireplace and extensive exterior copper work.
Ceilings that reach for the stars belong in a home with plenty of windows and bring the outdoors in, sans the uncomfortable cold and wet aftermath of actually being outdoors. A cantilevered fireplace is the showstopper here, keeping you warm when you do head home after a day on the slopes.
Photos: Courtesy of AKB Architects
Marshfront Retreat is a beautiful home located on a coastal barrier island near Charleston, South Carolina, designed by architecture studio Herlong & Associates. This home overlooks the creeks and marshes that identify the Carolina Lowcountry. The “lighthouse” is derived from images of the first octagonal wooden lighthouse on Sullivan’s Island, lost more than a century ago to a hurricane.
Herlong and Associates is a full service architecture and interiors firm specializing in the design of site responsive, sustainable and comfortably dramatic coastal homes. Their philosophy is that every property owner has a unique opportunity to create a custom home that responds sympathetically to their specific site, lifestyle, and sense of beauty. By determining your wants, needs, and tastes and merging them with a careful analysis of each property, they develop an architecture which enhances living and takes advantage of the unique characteristics of your chosen site.
Photos: Herlong & Associates
Ufogel is the ultimate vacation getaway, a comfortably appointed compact house made almost entirely of larch wood in the village of Nußdorf in the East Tyrolean region of Austria. The structure takes its name from its form which sometimes bears resemblance to a prehistoric bird and sometimes to an extraterrestrial home, but is always something special. It’s certainly not a standard, off-the-peg house but more of a sculpture to live in, which reveals itself to be a “spatial wonder” the minute you walk through the door. The home is comprised of 484 square feet (45 square meters) of multi- functional living space, comfortably appointed with a kitchen unit, bathroom and designer shower.
Large panorama windows bring nature indoors to you, while the curved timber structure covered with traditional shingles creates a feeling of warmth and security. Whether you sit, lie, shower or share a meal, two things are always present in an Ufogel: wood and the heavens. The Ufogel offers both openness and a sense of security. The large panorama windows bring the landscape indoors giving you the feeling you are still outside while the round shell conveys a cozy, woody feeling of security. This makes the Ufogel a refuge full of warmth and rustic character where you will sleep soundly with the feeling you have returned to the origins of the home.
Want to take a vacation getaway to this unique home? Rates start at $161 for two people, per night, from here.
Photos: Courtesy of Ufogel
Phillips Ridge is a sensational luxury vacation lodge that is nestled high atop a rocky ridge overlooking Jackson Hole in Wilson, Wyoming. Below, the wide valley rolls away for miles upon miles. A long driveway, bordered by streams and shadowy forest, winds its way up to the house, a magnificent Western lodge, a magical combination of wood, solid stone and ethereal glass. Palatial, sumptuous, and filled with splendid works of art, Phillips Ridge begins with a two-story, light-filled entryway. Thick log walls and tree trunk supports contrast with fine antiques and soft, rich fabrics. The living and dining areas are divided by a massive two-sided stone fireplace and illuminated by a 35-foot-high wall of windows. French doors open to a backdrop of dark green firs and pale aspen, separate seating areas face the fire and the panorama outside. Painter Bo Bartlett created a huge, stunning canvas in oil called “Goddess” spanning an entire wall, it creates as vivid an opening of perspective as do the soaring windows.
To stay at this incredible lodge, rates run from $65,000 per week in the summer and $65,000 – $100,000 per week during the ski season, from here.
A rustic staircase, with a cast bronze twig-and-branch handrail by sculptor W. Tom Ellicker, curves majestically up both sides of the front entryway. A second-story walkway crosses the big open space over the living room and leads to the sleeping quarters. Each of the five bedrooms at Phillips Ridge is a master suite, filled with light from the high, copper-framed windows, decorated with bold furnishings and textured fabrics. Each has its own stone fireplace, with hand-crafted cast iron and glass doors. The deep wilderness beyond the bedroom windows, and the lacy green woods or mountains capped in snow provide a satisfying contrast to the comfort and luxury within.
The grand kitchen at Phillips Ridge is fit for a professional chef. Its centerpiece is a large gas range set like a medieval hearth inside a hammered copper and stone alcove. A flat-screen television, hidden inside the stone countertop, rises and swivels at the touch of a button, and can be seen from the cooking area, the long, built-in breakfast banquet, and the dining room. A stone-topped island separates the kitchen from the dining room, where the long table, overhung by an antler chandelier, seats ten.
Thick log walls, tree-trunk beams and patterned bedspreads make the spacious bedrooms snug and cabin-like. Each one has a hand-built bed with reading lights positioned at either side. Each also has a decadent private bath with double sinks and big soaking tubs, two of which are shaped like oval bowls of polished stone. Some of the bathrooms have stone fireplaces. Glass-walled, rainfall showers and wide windows create the illusion of bathing al fresco.
French doors in the bedrooms open to private terraces or branch-framed porches. The forest runs right up to the house on one side, bringing with it the cool spicy air of the pines. Rich, muted oriental carpets cover the heated floors of the bedrooms, and wall-mounted, flat screen televisions face each of the beds, while beyond every window is an extraordinary panorama of forest, mountains and sky.
Phillips Ridge is an Eden for both vigorous adventure and quiet reflection, indoors and out. The entire eastern side of the house is encircled by a long stone terrace that is almost a home in itself. An outdoor dining area is set next to a large fire pit. Farther along are sitting areas, trap shooting stands and a hot tub. Back inside, a cosmic, two-lane bowling alley, a gorgeous bar room with tufted leather couch, and a casual pub with a billiards table make a day of rain most welcome.
On the lower floor, the lodge also has a state-of-the-art, Weider fitness center, a movie theater that seats twelve in deep leather armchairs, and a truly fabulous indoor hot tub, a grotto modeled on the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Ringed with mosaic stone mountains and a painted firmament of blue, it provides the ultimate conclusion or commencement to the day.
Phillips Ridge is fronted by a low stone wall and a three acre pond that reflects the sky like a mirror. A waterfall splashes merrily down a cascade of stones, and then winds its way under the driveway and around the house and can be turned off and on as desired. Stone bridges cross the small, pebbly pond created by the stream. Out on the terrace, the running water provides a light and constant music to morning coffee or evening cocktails as it passes by on its way to the dark green woods a favorite haunt for moose and down to one of the three private ponds teaming with cutthroat trout.
The vast terraces around the house are equipped with a snow-melt system, so that winter or summer one can step right outside. In early morning, the sun comes up over the shoulders of Sleeping Indian and lights the face of the house, summoning all to come and see. The encircling mountains hold the sunlight like a bowl. Wildflowers edge the rim of the terrace, but then nature takes over; Phillips Ridge’s 75 acres are not landscaped and are all the more gorgeous and frequented by wildlife for it. The evening brings another spectacular show, best enjoyed from the cushioned chairs by the fire pit and grill, as the sun goes down behind the hills and turns the mountains seashell pink. The sound of the breeze in the grasses, the sharp clean smell of the evergreens and the crackle of the fire play a symphony for the senses.
One could spend hours exploring the interesting corners, wonderful details and tremendous works of art inside the house, but Phillips Ridge is also the perfect launching pad for skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, fishing, swimming or canoeing in the pond, and day trips into wonderful Jackson. And despite its high luxury and fine art, Phillips Ridge is completely child and dog friendly. It is a spectacular property, the overture to an unforgettable Wyoming vacation.
Photos: Courtesy of The Clear Creek Group
This lakeside cottage retreat designed by Barnes Vanze Architects is located on a private community island on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. The two and a half acre wooded site slopes down from the road to a fresh water lake. Inspired by the informal character of the owner’s previous house on the island and the cottages in the area, the architects goal was to provide a comfortable home for the family where they could spend their summers entertaining while enjoying the amenities of the site.
The first floor is organized around the kitchen, with half walls opening to the stair hall and views of the lake and the screened porch. The living room and master bedroom in the rear of the house have sweeping views of the water. A deck and screened porch extend the living spaces to a large patio with an outdoor kitchen. A meandering path through the woods leads to a dock on the lake. Tucked in the dormers on the second floor are children’s and guest bedroom suites. The basement houses a large game room, family room and bar, all with views of the water.
Photos: Anice Hoachlander from Hoachlander Davis Photography
Residencia Vaz 478 is a stunning modern beach retreat designed by Patricia Bergantin Arquiterura, surrounded by native bush in Iporanga, São Paulo, Brazil. Two elements of the design stand out from the client request: a cleaner and modern house and creating a gourmet space, integrated into the external pool. The linear volume house was emphasized by a big box on the porch. In addition to unifying the design of the house the porch also had the role of serving as a large balcony to the master suites and to also protect the large opening of the living room from the sun, especially when it is fully opened. The interior showcases the combination of elegant furniture without ostentation and a palette of neutral colors with light wood paneling and Brazilian ethnic art pieces, creating pure and simple indoor environments.
Photos: Courtesy of Patricia Bergantin Arquiterura
This striking modern designed residence in Ancram, Upstate New York has been designed by HHF Architects and interior design firm Kathryn Scott Design Studio Ltd. The home is comprised of 4,000 square feet of living space, designed as a country house for two young art collectors as a retreat from life in the city. The architectural design reflects their desire for a simple, sculptural residence standing in contrast to its natural surrounding landscape. The four equal sized boxes covered with corrugated metal panels on the outside create a striking and unexpected home. The interior was kept minimally furnished with the focus remaining on the owners’ contemporary Chinese art collection. Access to the view of the countryside is carefully orchestrated and subtly present without dominating the interior, creating an introspective intimacy and highlighting the art within. Natural light pours though the openings in between the outer boxes creating a changing sculptural display of its own inside each room. The simplicity and careful selection of the furnishings are a reflection of the owners clear vision of their personal style.
Photos: Ellen McDermott
Lodgepole Retreat is a Rocky Mountain, Colorado getaway designed by Arch11, taking its simple form as a modern response to simple mining structures of the area. The single roof plane efficiently manages the snowfall at 9000’ above sea level while serving as a platform for the 10kw photovoltaic system that, along with an electric boiler, an air to air heat exchanger, and LED lighting, allows this 2,200 square foot house to operate at net zero energy use each year. An open-plan, glass-enclosed great room gives the sense of living in the out of doors while each private space offers carefully-framed views of specific parts of the alpine setting. All construction assemblies and materials are designed to meet the strictest fire-resistant codes.
What started as an intimate 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath cabin for a Colorado couple and their grown children, grew to 3 bedrooms and 3 baths when they began to consider space for their grandchildren. The couple had owned the property for years-spending weekends there as their two children grew from toddlers to teens. A 1960’s-era stone cabin sufficed, until the pair decided they wanted something more enduring. Having previously seen an Arch11-designed house, the couple decided they wanted a contemporary cabin. The homeowner’s wish was for unobstructed views of the majestic Rocky Mountains that surround the site. The pristine setting includes a 30 acre meadow and high alpine forests, which suggested for a design solution that should be as light on the land as possible. So light, that the owners wanted to get as close to net- zero as possible and be nearly maintenance free as well.
The living plane is elevated above the ground on a poured-in place concrete pedestal to heighten the experience of floating above the meadow. Floor to ceiling glass offers occupants an almost cinematic experience of the diurnal rhythm of the earth.
Sustainable features: Energy model was net-zero energy use, High performance, triple-pane glazing 10 kw solar array, Solar thermal system, Electric boiler with ceramic storage for radiant heat system, Natural ventilation, Large overhangs for shading, Concrete with fly-ash content, FSC-certified lumber, Formaldehyde free cabinets, Energy Star appliances, LED lighting.
Photos: Raul Garcia
Chalet Pearl has an enviable combination where fantastic location meets jaw-dropping views across the Dent du Villard in the exclusive Nogentil area above central Courchevel 1850, France. This chalet sets the benchmark for service and style with glamorous interiors, exceptionally experienced staff and a private spa that wouldn’t look out of place in a top caliber hotel. After undergoing a €1,000,000 renovation, the chalet offers some 8,611 square feet (800 square meters), built without compromise, every detail is of the highest standard. Constructed from reclaimed old timber and local stone, with beautifully crafted wooden detailing, Chalet Pearl oozes charm. The interiors feature contemporary pieces with traditional Alpine style.
The top floor is dedicated to the living area with a spacious lounge, dining area and bar, perfect for entertaining large groups. There is a fully equipped kitchen where your private chef will prepare breakfast each morning and a mouth-watering dinner in the evenings. The beautiful chalet has 7 en suite bedrooms sleeping up to 14 guests in extreme luxury and includes a large master bedroom suite with jacuzzi tub. Chalet Pearl’s party piece is perhaps its spectacular indoor swimming pool and spa area downstairs. Complete with waterfall and loungers, this is a perfect place to stretch tired limbs and recuperate mind, body and spirit. The chalet also has its own massage therapist and treatment expert who can work wonders, so you can treat yourself to pre-ski, deep tissue or relaxing massages or aroma therapy treatments when the mood takes.
When you feel like kicking back and taking it easy you won’t be short of options. The top of the range chalet is equipped with the latest state of the art technology : BOSE music system, LCD screens and DVD players in each bedroom as well as the main living area. In addition, Chalet Pearl boasts its own bar, a dedicated games room and a state-of-the-art cinema comfortably seating 15 people for movie nights in front of the big screen.
To stay at this exceptional chalet, prices are start at $143,595 per week, from here.
In the living room the huge comfy sofas in front of the stone open fireplace offer sumptuous sanctuary after a long day on the mountain.
This stunning Buck Creek vacation home has been designed by Fougeron Architecture on Big Sur’s spectacular south coast, anchored in the natural beauty and power of the California landscape. The architects design embeds the building within the land, creating a structure that is inseparable from its context. The site, which features a 250-foot drop to the Pacific Ocean along the bluff and toward the west, offers dramatic views. Yet it demands a more complex form than a giant picture window.
The long, thin volume of the house conforms to the natural contours of the land and the geometries of the bluff, deforming its shape and structure in response, much like the banana slug native to the region’s seaside forests. In this way, the complex structural system applies natural forms to accommodate the siting. The main bearing system of the house is set back twelve feet from the bluff, both to protect the cliff’s delicate ecosystem and to ensure the structure’s integrity and safety. The house itself is cantilevered over the bluff. The interior is a shelter, an elegant refuge in contrast with the roughness and immense scale of the ocean and cliff.
The main body of the three-bedroom house is composed of two rectangular boxes connected by an all-glass library/den. A one-story concrete wing perpendicular to the main volume holds the ground-floor bedrooms and features a green roof; it is the boulder that locks the house to the land. The lower of the two main volumes, a double-cantilevered master bedroom suite, acts as a promontory above the ocean, offering breathtaking views from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The upper volume is an open-plan space-kitchen, living room, and dining room-with a swooping ceiling, all clad in wood, that follows the shape of the land.
The house’s two main facades express both shelter and exposure. On the north, clear expanses of glass reveal ocean and coastline views; long strips of translucent channel glass dapple the light, playing on the sea’s shimmering surface. The south facade, clad in copper, which wraps over the roof, is mostly enclosed, offering a retreat from the forces of nature. Roof overhangs on the east and west protect the windows and the front door from the harshness of sun and wind.
Photos: Courtesy of Fougeron Architecture