Chevallier Architectes revamped a self-built mountain guide’s home into Chalet Solelyâ, a chic and energy-smart retreat in the stunning alpine region of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. Clad in glass, the luxurious vacation home cantilevers out into the landscape and takes in spectacular views of the snow-covered mountains and pine forests. Sustainability was also a key driver in the design, and the home is partially topped by an insulating green roof and designed with passive solar principles.
Perched atop a natural promontory in the lower valley, Solelyâ juts out of the landscape like an elevated fortress, with commanding views of the alpine environment. Chevallier Architectes said the biggest challenge of the renovation process was the balancing act between preserving the original building’s charming and tradition character, while integrating an updated and modernized design. The architects said the success of the project was largely thanks to the clients’ “architectural literacy…sensitivity to beauty, and their appreciation for high quality construction.”
Located in Coupeaux, in the commune of Les Houches, Solelyâ is also the first home in the area to include a green roof. Placement of the glazed openings were dictated by passive solar principles, thus, the well-insulated building has no north-facing windows, while the south facade is clad in full-height glazing. The new cantilevered and glazed extension houses the living space, which comprises glass, as well as polished and lacquered black aluminum. These two new materials provide a strong contrast with the original timber construction.
Images © Alexandre Mermillod