Look inside this minimalist chalet self-build in Quebec

This contemporary, compact holiday home cuts an intriguing figure within its natural surroundings.

By Hugh Metcalf | 15 April 2020

Located in the woods surrounding a picturesque lake in Canada, this contemporary holiday home packs in a lot into a small, square space.

Lac Poisson Blanc white chalet cabin in snowy landscape - self build - grand designs

Image: R Thibodeau

Located on the shores surrounding Lac du Poisson Blanc (translating to White Fish Lake) in Quebec, Canada, this small chalet build by _naturehumaine architects is an intriguing project.

It’s small, perfectly square proportions and classic angled, gabled roof offers a classic house outline, as if drawn by a child – something further highlighted by the sleek, monochromatic exterior of the dwelling.

Hit the slopes

Lac Poisson Blanc white chalet cabin in snowy landscape - self build - grand designs

Image: R Thibodeau

The concept of this chalet has been inspired by the sloping terrain on which the project sits. Larger windows that allow the scenery to be enjoyed from inside, are positioned on the upper floor, against the slope, helping to preserve privacy.

Shape and colour

Lac Poisson Blanc white chalet cabin in snowy landscape - self build - grand designs

Image: R Thibodeau

Despite its angular and monolithic nature, the house blends into the surrounding landscape, during winter weather at least. The lakeside isn’t always snow-covered, so this project cuts quite a different figure in this setting in the warmer months.

Bones of the building

chalet interior roof structure - self build - grand designs 

Image: R Thibodeau

Inside, the roof is open, with exposed joists that add some detail to the minimalist space. This criss-crossing structure, echoing the name of the lake by recalling the skeleton of a fish, can be seen in the living spaces, as they are on the upper floor, while the bedroom are on the lower, set into the sloping bedrock.