Villa Solaire is a converted old farmhouse into a luxury rental villa, revisiting traditional techniques in the village of Morzine, in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. The renovation was carried out by Jérémie Koempgen Architecture and FUGA, built in 1826, it was singled out by the municipality as a landmark for traditional architecture. A uniform cladding wraps the whole farm. One of the challenges of the project was to preserve its appearance, while filtering light into the heart of the 6,673 square foot (620 square meters) building. The traditional technique of decorative cut-outs within the wood strips was used to perform specific perforations within the planks. The design of this simple and contemporary pattern is consistent with the equipment and techniques used by the local carpenter for cutting spruce slats. These cut-outs recall the disjointed battens of the traditional barn, used for drying hay.
Today, these slits bring light inside the building. The glazed elements of the project, which are flush with the inside of the façade, are partially hidden by the cover strips. As they are not visible from outside they do not interfere with the uniformity of the cladding.
Throughout the year, the surrounding roofs and buildings cast their shadows on the facades. The pattern within the cladding is designed to respond to the path described by these shadows: the areas receiving a greater amount of sun are all the more open and provide a certain legibility of the continuity between the common spaces of the house.
This concept of interlocking inside/outside, evokes a lifestyle in harmony with its surroundings and leads to the project being named the “solar house”: a house exposed on its four facades to the path of the sun, perceived as a sundial.
Finding one’s bearings: A living geography
The idea is to move through this house between four “blocks” steady as rocks, located at each corner of the building. Each independent unit forms a suite with sleeping area and amenities.
Between these four blocks, the remaining space is occupied by a succession of stacked floors at different levels in the framework. This continuum of generous space welcomes the activities shared by the inhabitants: cooking, dining, watching a film, conversing in the living room, warming up around the fire…
These four blocks mark the house as the summits punctuate the valley. In Haute Savoie, one instinctively relates the farms to the mountains. Again, this symbolic association is translated in each block as it is identified in its facing mountainous terrain, just as the framework can be interpreted as a forest, whose various topographical lines are recalled within the different floor levels.
Revealing the structure:Nested scales or “the complex of the snail”
The charm of the original farm resides in the existing structure. Conserving its overall appearance was of one of the project’s key challenges, which motivated its restoration: It was fully recovered and the original plastering preserved after brushing and trimming.
In order to clear the room of the nave while meeting the rental house needs, utility functions were closely integrated. A strong contrast results from the scales of the cozy bedrooms, bathrooms and sleeping alcoves, next to the open central meeting space. The complexity of these nested spaces is combined with a similar research in terms of details and materials.
Photos: Julien Lanoo
Chalet Brickell enjoys the luxury of a stunning setting at the heart of Megève, a commune in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. Developed by Pure Concept, a Swiss designer-creator firm specialized in luxury properties, this exceptional 12,900 square foot Chalet, with its guest house, blends in perfectly with the small town. Situated at the foot of the mountain, surrounded by nature and unforgettable mountain views, it seems to have found its natural place. Designed to precise specifications, down to the tiniest detail, it offers the rich sobriety of noble materials, the subtlety of elegant combinations, and a superbly functional space. Nothing is left to chance. Every accessory has its role to play: a breath of color, a glow of light, bespoke rugs, unique motifs. Behind this chic modernity lies a truly authentic simplicity.
Chalet Brickell and its guest house sleeps up to 18 guests within seven bedrooms and can be booked all year round from $33,877 to $182,938/per week, depending on the season, from here.
The staircase, like a modern drawbridge, allows access to the large living room. The transparent blend of metal, glass and steel elegantly complements the warm harmonies of antique woods. Pure lines create a comfort that is absolute simplicity. The overall effect is one of a neutral, modest, welcoming refinement that makes the perfect setting for works of art or original shots by renowned photographers.
Golden bedroom. Antique wood and a Fortuny-inspired pleated headboard set the tone in the room with gold-colored quilted curtains. Like a plush bedspread, a large fur blanket covers the bed, which is fitted with sheets with touches of gold for a gold room.
White bedroom. Leather-paneled walls match the headboard, in shades of taupe that accentuate the whiteness of the bed linens and accessories. Fur adds a touch of warmth.
Master bedroom. Meticulously executed finishing touches and exquisite attention to detail make this space a true haven of well-being. The master bedroom owes its beauty to the skills of Italian craftsmen, specialised in the construction of yachts. Walls made of wood meet an oak floor covered with thick rugs, while shagreen leather frames the doorway. Cut-velvet panels line the wall and ceiling, like a «canopy» above the bed, which is covered with a fur bedspread. Heavy drapes and an enveloping easy chair create a cozy reading corner. Here, you feel cocooned. Taupe leathers adorn the easy chair and leather-covered sliding doors open onto the marble bathroom, where two identical Japanese-style shower rooms face each other.
The night club, as well as the home cinema and its large screen, have been installed to the highest professional standards and make use of the very latest technical developments. Dancers can enjoy an LED lighting system created by a specialist who provides the lighting solutions for discotheques throughout the world. The «dark» room puts the emphasis on comfort, with luxurious couches and individual service.
The indoor pool looks onto the garden and benefits from the natural light. To protect privacy, specially designed curtains can be drawn across the large windows – a little like the Hollywood of the fifties. Bed loungers, along with a teak floor like the deck of a yacht, give the feel of a relaxing cruise.
The huge garage in the basement links the main chalet and the guest house. From here, the leisure rooms can be accessed. A showcase for car collectors or enthusiasts, it has been designed to house 4x4s, racing cars and also elegant limousines, with a focus on aesthetics and rigor. The floor has a «granular» surface, the central axis features the colors of Brickell, while the walls display the fastest and most famous racing drivers, with Steve McQueen in top position.
The teak terrace, against a backdrop of snow, is the perfect place to relax in the sun. White sets the inside-outside tone and gives a warm comfort to an open-air relaxation area. Custom-made sun loungers, for moments of leisure, adopt a deck-chair look with high-quality yacht-style details.
The chalets, situated in two of the best French ski resorts (Megève and Courchevel 1850) are equipped with services worthy of grand palaces: transfer by helicopter, housekeeper, private chef, chauffeur, concierge, massage and beauty care etc. In the style of a hotel for the private individual, with exceptional services, it is pure made-to-measure.
Chalet Les Sorbiers offers a peaceful and secluded location, nestled into the mountainside, in the heights of Courchevel 1850, in the village of Val d’Isère, France. As part of one of Courchevel’s most luxurious and exclusive hotels, Le Kilimandjaro, Chalet Le Sorbiers offers all of the facilities and faultless service that you’d expect from the 5 star hotel, in the privacy and opulence of your own luxury ski chalet. From its traditional wooden exterior, exposed beams and wood paneled walls and ceilings, to the massive stone fireplace centerpiece, the chalet exudes alpine charm, which is complemented perfectly by elegant furnishings and the latest technology.
The retreat showcases a large open plan living and dining room with a grand central fireplace surrounded by comfortable armchairs and sofas. There is an LCD television, audio equipment and home cinema system for entertainment. The dining area has a spacious table that can comfortably seat all ten guests. There is a fully equipped separate kitchen where your private chef will prepare breakfast, afternoon tea and superb evening meals. There is also a butler who will always be around to make sure that you want for nothing.
To stay at this sensational chalet, rates are from $53,029 per week, sleeping 10, from here.
There are five en-suite bedrooms spread over the three floors. There are two doubles with en-suites on the ground floor along with double that features a stunning fireplace and en-suite. On the same floor as the sitting area is another en-suite double although it is slightly smaller than the other bedrooms. The fifth and final bedroom is on the top floor and is a superb master suite with sitting area. Outside on the south-facing terrace is a beautiful wooden hot-tub, there’s a small private garden and the property has a heated garage, although there is a chauffeur-driven car at your disposal throughout your stay.
This cozy vacation home designed for a family, to relax in an amazing setting was created by Breese Architects, situated in Mink Meadows, Massachusetts. The interiors of this warm transitional retreat were designed byInteriors Studio Martha’s Vineyard. Having the Interiors and Architecture studios working closely together on this project created a sense of connectedness for this home. Working together meant every detail was thought of by the talented design teams.
Interior’s Studio Martha’s Vineyard (ISMV) is a full service Interior Design studio and a furniture and accessories showroom. Recognizing the importance of offering comprehensive design services ISMV also offers clients the services of our Architecture partner, Breese Architects, helping us fill the need for a full range of high-end design, sourcing and purchasing. ISMV is located in the village of Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard and is an elegant, warm, and beautiful space that was designed and created by Breese Architects. The high energy, tasteful sensibilities and talent of the studio and architecture teams has made possible an on-island company with off island connections.
Photos: Brian VandenBrink
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 rustic barn inspired ski cabin is situated in the old world Tahoe village of Sugar Bowl, California and designed by Kelly and Abramson Architecture. The exterior siding, interior floors, railings and massive beams all came from reclaimed barn wood. Hoping to make the 5,200 square foot building as green as possible, the owners also used Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified framing lumber, formaldehyde-free plywood, and soy-based foam insulation.
But the barn is also a fun vacation home, with six bedrooms in total, two of which are kids’ rooms with built-in bunk beds, a loft, and a massive fireplace in the living room for cozy entertaining. Other details include industrial light fixtures from Europe, a farmhouse sink bought off Craigslist, and decorator touches courtesy of eBay. For aprè-ski, a large outdoor deck features a built-in fire pit and helical stairs that wind around a water tower hot tub. Sally Ward was the interior designer on the project who demonstrates a playful, warm and sophisticated style.
This is a new house. The concept was that it should look like it was there before the ski resort was built.
The owner really got into the barn theme and purchased many items from e-bay.
The spacious kitchen has a great layout, nice and open. Functional but friendly. Open cabinets are great when there are a lot of guests. There are two dishwashers, two refrigerators, five foot long range and walk in pantry.
This is the loft overlooking the living room. All ceiling beams are ornamental. The middle post has a steel post in the middle.
The wood beam ceiing in this bedroom mimics the structure of the house, gambrel barn. The wood with plaster walls has more texture than seen in the photos.
The guest room. There is radiant heat floors throughout, the ceiling register is for a back up forced air system.
The fire pit is not really warm enough to keep you warm on cold days. The deck has a snowmelt system. No shoveling
Helical metal stairs around the water tank.
Photos: Courtesy of Kelly and Abramson Architecture
The Mothersill Residence is a stunning single family vacation home located in Water Mill, New York designed by Bates Masi Architects in conjunction with interior design firm Damon Liss Inc. This sprawling 6,027 square foot home utilizes a boardwalk as an architectural device for weaving together multiple portions of a historic site with new building and landscape elements. Located on a creek-front property, the site contains two culturally significant structures designed by Andrew Geller and a diversity of landscape plantings. The two Geller structures, a small house and studio, were built in 1962. Common to Geller’s architecture, a boardwalk connects the two structures.
A varied collection of botanically significant plantings populates the property, including a rare specimen Yew garden, serpentine Yew, and more than 400,000 Siberian Iris. The western edge of the property slopes down to a wetland bordering the creek. A conservation easement on the property protects the two Geller structures, Yew garden and iris, while allowing for the addition of a new main house. The owners requested a design that would unify these disparate elements. To achieve this, a constructed path traverses the site to link visual and spatial relationships between the elements. The path takes the form of a raised, wooden surface that recalls the boardwalks of Geller’s architecture.
Building and wetland setbacks, existing landscape features, site access, and conservation easement restrictions overlap to create the parameters of the meandering path. The path originates from the relocated Geller House in the Yew garden and winds around the serpentine hedge to a new swimming pool.
As the path continues it passes the Geller Studio, now reprogrammed as a pool house, and connects to shaded outdoor living spaces. A new central lawn is defined as the boardwalk turns to extend through the main house. A cantilevered deck wraps the end of the main house at the termination of the path, providing views of the wetland and creek.
The surface of the path folds up and over to become the enclosure of the main house, simultaneously functioning as floor, wall, and roof. All surfaces of this enclosure are constructed with the same wood decking as the boardwalk. Their uniformity gives the effect of a single envelope containing a variety of parts and reflects the influence of design in Geller’s work.
In these ways the physical, material, and spatial qualities of the path facilitate an architectural dialogue between the Geller structures and new house that is interwoven with the existing landscape, collecting the once individual elements into a unified whole.
Photos: Courtesy of Bates Masi Architects
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