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Architecture Design of Whistler Ski House

Description About The Project

Whistler Ski House designed by Olson Kundig, is a modern yet cozy family retreat in the Coast Mountains of Western Canada which has all the creature comforts and style to spare. Although, the terrain and mountain environment may be harsh, but the house is a modern oasis of all the amenities a family could want during a getaway. Indeed, the house built ten feet above the ground, which makes it look like is floating among the trees and above the snow. More than just a design feature, the elevation protects the main part of the house from the flood – prone lakeshore.

The house is actually two distinct buildings connected by a glass – walled bridge that spans 80 feet. The largest of the two wings contains the living and dining spaces, master bedroom, and two guest rooms. Besides, the second wing houses all the family’s children in four rooms.

Especially, one of the most intriguing elements of the house is a custom horizontal shutter system. The design not only creates privacy. But it also protects textiles, upholstery and art inside the house from fading due to the harsh snow glare. It’s a simple system that uses crank and switch controls to transform the façade according to the weather and the family’s needs. Also, the shutters can convert the front from a bank of windows to one that is semi – exposed, shielded by raw – edged Douglas fir louvers.

Once inside, the house has great style and a very sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance. Plenty of open space makes the area flexible for all the things a larger group of family and friends will want to do. Moreover, comfortable furniture and cozy throws add to the warmth of the light – filled space.

The Architecture Design Project Information:

Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
A modern, linear profile blends the house with the surroundings.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Mechanical systems change the window covers as necessary.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Metal panels protect the windows in severe weather.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
The house fits with the terrain and woods.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
The sole pop of color comes from the oversized entry door.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
A side view shows the different layers of window shutters.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Large windows offer views of the surrounding mountains from this house.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Also, the glass bridge links the two sections of the Whistler Ski House.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Indeed, the view from the inside of the bridge is equally nice.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
The raised Whistler Ski House protected from flooding.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
The fireplace is double sided and has artful wood storage.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Also, moving panels adjust the size of the fireplace opening.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Especially, a panel can be lowered to make the fireplace opening even smaller.
A panel can be lowered to make the fireplace opening even smaller.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
In addition to this, the fireplace is the focal point of the open main living area of this Whistler Ski House.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
The ski room has everything the family needs.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Unobtrusive stairs are located between the Whistler Ski House.
On the other hand, the master bedroom focused on comfort and the view.

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
The design of the bathroom emphasizes the tub and view.
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig

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Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig
Whistler Ski House in Canada with a glass - walled bridge by Olson Kundig

The Whistler Ski House Gallery:


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Text by the Architects: Set in the Coast Mountains of Western Canada, Whistler Ski House is a family retreat built to withstand the harsh mountain environment. Elevated ten feet above grade, the main level provides a sense of occupying the tree canopy while also floating above snowdrifts and flood prone lake shore. Due to the nature of the deep soft soil on the lake shore and the home’s location in a high seismic risk zone, the house supported on a continuous 2-foot thick raft slab on densified soil, created by a series of vibro-densified rock columns that extend 60 to 68 feet deep into the ground. The raft slab “floats” on the densified soil which allows the house to remain stationary during a seismic event that would cause un-densified soil to slide into the lake.

Photo credit:  Benjamin Benschneider | Source: Olson Kundig

For more information about this project; please contact the Architecture firm :
– Add: 159 S Jackson St # 600, Seattle, WA 98104, United States.
– Tel: +1 206-624-5670
– Email: [email protected]

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