By : Appareil Architecture + BESIDE
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 15th edition
Discipline : Architecture
Categories : Special Award / Architecture + Collaboration : Platinum Winner, Gold Certification
Categories : Special Award / Sustainable Architecture : Silver Certification
Categories : Residential Building / Cottage & Country House : Gold Certification
Designing architectural spaces that would contribute to protecting a centennial forest in Lanaudière; this was the challenge that BESIDE gave to the APPAREIL Architecture team. Veritable ode to nature, the 75-cabin development was concentrated on a small portion of the vast 1254-acres terrain, to preserve the surrounding natural areas. The BESIDE chalets are inspired by the fundamental idea of a forest refuge. They marry design, minimalism and local materials. Through this project, the architecture firm puts forth compact and well-thought-out living spaces, eliminating anything superfluous to maintain only the essential; a vibrant space where nature and architecture meet.
The main cabin’s volume draws from the collective imaginary of the cabin in the trees, of the welcoming home. The geometry is composed of identifying elements, such as the sloping roof and the skylight. To offer more flexibility, an annexed construction, the Pod, can be attached to the cabin through a glass passage. Almost entirely independent from the main chalet, the Pod finds its place as one of the project’s signaling features.
The challenge to surmount was steep: to offer an architecture that would seem familiar, as if it had always been concealed within the landscape – but which, at the same time, would have a novel dimension, of something unexpected and contemporary.
This guiding line is reflected across each scale of the project, through bold volumes and the use of materials in their raw state, without paint or artifice. Durability being essential, the outer coating of pre-aged cedar and the galvanized steel sloping roof ensure uniform aging, communicating the passage of time. Inside, the pine slats and the heated concrete floor lend a warm aspect to the space.
The cabins designed by APPAREIL Architecture embrace Quebec’s Nordic roots and the uniqueness of the Lanaudière region. All while reinterpreting the architectural language of the forest refuge, the firm shares its know-how with BESIDE by offering compact and thoughtful living spaces. The project inscribes itself in an integration between architecture and nature, where the landscape is highlighted through each intervention, veritable return to essentials and to contemplation.