Perched on a granite cliff edge deep within the French Alps, the ski resort of Avoriaz – accessible solely by cable automotive – is an architectural gem. In 1964, a visionary younger jetsetter developer named Gérard Brémond – the son of a wealthy industrialist, with a ardour for jazz and movie – wished to create a glamorous, purpose-built resort on this hostile terrain. It was nicknamed the “Saint Tropez of snow”. He employed a trio of younger, idealistic architects, led by Jacques Labro, then in his late 20s, and gave them free rein.
Impressed by the work of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, their revolutionary thought was to create buildings that mirrored the mountain setting. Residences, chalets, outlets and eating places have steeply pitched roofs, to imitate the terrain and to keep away from a buildup of snow that blankets them presently of yr. They’re clad in crimson cedarwood tiles, left intentionally untreated to climate with age. These shingles dealing with south have turned a mink gray over the a long time; these dealing with east and west have warmed to a chestnut brown.
Avoriaz is car-free: buildings are linked by large, ski-able paths by means of the timber; individuals additionally get round by horse-drawn sleigh. Each construction is designed to optimise the solar and the mountain views. Each entrance door is ski-in, ski-out, opening to a piste down into the city; the cable automotive carries you and your buying again up once more. Capitalising on the resort’s barely gothic spookiness, a fantasy movie pageant ran right here from 1973 for 20 years, attracting David Cronenberg and Steven Spielberg.
The resort’s first constructing – the angular, pyramid-shaped Resort des Dromonts, whose lately revamped inside nonetheless has a robust 60s vibe, all brilliant colors, cowhide pouffes and Egg chairs – opened at Christmas in 1966. This snowy cabin, nestled like a gingerbread home within the forest, adopted a yr later – and is one in all Avoriaz’s first personal properties. It, too, has been faithfully restored.
Proprietor Marie Querton, who lives in Brussels along with her husband and 4 youngsters, purchased the home in 2007. She enlisted the assistance of her outdated good friend, architect Caroline Notté. She was eager to protect a bit of architectural historical past, but in addition create someplace her household may spend high quality time collectively.
Inside, Notté stored the unique format and home windows – a collection of various sizes and styles, moderately than the massive image home windows you see at the moment – however stripped again 50 years’ price of wooden cladding, paint and plaster. In consequence, the rooms felt immediately “lighter and extra spacious”, says Querton. She and Notté then settled on a restricted palette of supplies – native slate, darkish wooden panelling, white partitions – that felt mid-60s with out slavishly adhering to the interval. “All the things needed to be drawn from the fashion [original architect, Jacques] Labro initiated,” says Querton.
Within the angular south-facing front room, Notté remodelled the hearth and the window seat. Storage was a problem, so she designed built-in drawers beneath the seat. “It’s not a giant chalet, and there’s not one room that’s sq. or rectangle-shaped – it’s higgledy-piggledy,” says Querton. The partitions had been initially clad in wooden, however Notté changed this with lime-washed plaster. Furnishings is in shades of brown, together with a set of classic tan leather-based Togo sofas by Ligne Roset, designed in 1973 (scour ebay.co.uk or purchase them new at heals.com). All through, she has furnished the home with interval items, together with ground lamp (discover them at skandium.com) from 1971, and stools by French architect Charlotte Perriand within the kitchen/eating area.
Even new parts are designed to replicate the fashion of the period: bespoke wood cabinetry within the second bed room follows Labro’s clear, unadorned traces; and within the entrance corridor, Querton designed easy cupboard space impressed by Perriand’s practical fashion. Exterior, a country terrace has breathtaking mountain views, and is furnished with sheepskin and cowhide throws for outside eating.
The chalet’s distant location was its large attraction, says Querton. “It’s important to work actually onerous simply to get right here. We arrive on the automotive park [at the foot of the mountain], we put our backpacks on, the kids carry what they’ll, we take the cable automotive up the cliff face, after which it’s a stable 30-minute stroll by means of the snow as much as our chalet.
“We fell in love with the spirit of the place,” she says. “It’s laid again, it’s not too refined, it’s old fashioned and genuine. It corresponded to who we’re. We like nature. We like strolling within the quietness of the snow within the mountains. The hustle of the trendy world is down there someplace.”
Earlier pages: left, this cosy Alpine chalet, within the ski resort of Avoriaz, was designed in 1967 by French architect, Jacques Labro, and renovated by its present proprietor. Proper, the country terrace with mountain views, and Mariposa, or “Butterfly” chairs draped in sheepskins (discover the chairs at scp.co.uk). Under: crimson cedarwood tiles clad the surface of each constructing in Avoriaz, designed to climate with age.
Clockwise from high: the lounge, with its unique home windows however a remodelled hearth and window seat; the leather-based Togo sofas are classic (for brand new, attempt heals.com), and for comparable Beni Ourain rugs, attempt lillarugs.com. A downstairs bed room, with stupendous views and nice curtain material from kvadrat.dk. Looking from the galley-style kitchen to the eating space; the architectural curves of the ceiling are pure 60s. The terrace desk set for afternoon tea. The remodelled eating space, designed to mimic architect Jacques Labro’s distaste for rightangles, with a desk impressed by French architect Charlotte Perriand.