Chevallier Architectes have completed ‘Les belles echappées’, a pair of alpine chalets in Chamonix-Mont-blanc, France. The two adjacent constructions combine a seamless blend of various materials and high-end finishes, such as wood, metal, and concrete. What makes them stand out from the surrounding built environment are the contemporary dormers, which protrude from the pitched roofs, offering spectacular views of the Mont Blanc mountain range.
The project was initiated by the Architect when he discovered this exceptional land and proposed it to the Client. The latter, seduced, envisaged the construction of three cottages surrounded by the heavenly Mont Blanc mountains. The project was then reduced to two constructions corresponding to the agreements made with the local municipality.
Chevallier Architects have built the two chalets for a client who requested a contemporary, unprecedented, and striking proposal, complete with the studio’s signature architectural style. The addition of the dormers on top of the two buildings results in a set of distinct construction that slightly differs from vernacular architecture, without clashing with the surrounding context. These dormers enclose the chalets’ master bedrooms, which benefit from wide views of the serene Mont Blanc mountains.
The Client is associated with the agency over several projects. They wanted a contemporary, unprecedented, and significant achievement through this structure. He asked for a strong and pure signature of the Agency’s architectural style. And so the edicules on the roofs, these open volumes are torn from the agreed space, are born and give the master-bedroom a spectacular view of the chain of Mt Blanc, a luminous escape.
The two buildings are designed with particular care in framing the surrounding views, and in isolating the occupants from the main road while still ensuring easy access. This allows the seamless merging of the interior of the building with the exterior landscape.
“The boundaries of the property brought its share of technical challenges with the difficulties inherent to the holding of the land during the first phases of the work,” notes Chevallier Architectes.
Additionally, the connection between the dormers and the roof required expertise and ingenuity to guarantee water tightness and good insulation.
‘Belles Echappées’ includes wellness areas such as a sauna, a hammam, and spas. All these areas are powered by geothermal energy to reduce energy consumption. The two chalets were built on a concrete base and clad in wood and metal, which allows the integration of responses to seismic constraints. This blend of materials enhances the final aesthetics of the project while reflecting a sharp personal style of the architects at the same time.
For the Architect, Les Belles Escapees remains a singular project with a sharp style that he likes to assume.
According to Larousse –
A short moment that he has some genius breakaways.
A short journey through which one frees yourself from constraints: Make a breakaway to the countryside.
Free space, but narrow, by which the view can plunge in the distance: A place from which one has a breakaway on the mountain.