The   LAKE SUPERIOR CHALET was designed to sit on the shore of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada.   Our client, with a Swiss heritage, had spent a considerable amount of time in Switzerland and requested a design reminiscent of a Swiss Chalet.   Cows and their cowbells, chocolate and cuckoo clocks, Edelweiss, and of course, the Alpine chalet with its stone and timber facade, small shuttered windows, and elaborately carved beams and balconies greeted the start of tourism to the Swiss Alps in the early 1800's, and has become a world wide symbol for ski resorts ever sense.

The "chalet" is a building form which has evolved over several hundreds of years.   It was developed using timber and stone - the closest material at hand.   In the beginning, the chalet functioned primarily as a barn for the housing of dairy cows and feed, with a small apartment for living quarters.   Heavy timbers, corbelled at the corners, support the low-pitched roofs and wide eaves.   The shallow pitched roofs allowed every inch of the space to be used, and the large roof overhangs provided cover from the snow.   The stone and mortar foundations were traditionally painted white.

Our design, attempts to capture the essence of the "chalet", using heavy timber framing, white painted stucco masonry, and energy efficient structural insulated panels (SIP's) for floors, walls and roofs.

We chose a building spot adjacent a long rugged stone ridge which parallels the shore - it projects north-west out into the lake and terminates in a very secluded rocky beach.   The ridge provides protection from the wind, but the first floor is situated to allow a view over the rocks, south-west toward the lake.   The building faces north-west toward the beach and the setting sun.   The white masonry stair tower connects the second floor with an upper level bridge which crosses over to the ridge.

The building has 1,657 square feet of enclosed living space on the first floor, and 758 square feet on the second, plus a full building-width, lake-side deck with hot tub.   An entry bridge spans across the hill from the drive.

Our services for this project included the preliminary design and final construction documents.   The Bidding and Construction Phases were handled directly by our client.

Click here to view the LAKE SUPERIOR CHALET floor plans and site plan.



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Paul A. Meier