Architectural Inspo: Whistler A-Frame Cabin

BC-based Scott & Scott Architects' newest build updates a classic design with concrete and local materials

Take a look around any mountain resort town. Chances are you’ll be looking at monstrous “chalets” larger than most suburban homes, maybe inspired by traditional Swiss alpine motifs but more likely the result of any number of alpine architecture clichés—faux river rock, brightly stained knotty pine, and enough bedrooms to sleep an army. But it wasn’t always this way. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, when the concept of a vacation home had firmly taken root in American culture, most were modest dwellings inspired by their surroundings and meant to be a refuge from urban life.

The latest build from Vancouver, B.C. based Scott & Scott Architects—a 1900 sq ft. A-frame set into a rock bluff in a quiet residential area north of Whistler village—does well to ignore the current new-money trends, aiming instead to fit in with the area’s more modestly sized cabins dating back to the 70s.

Of course everyone loves an A-frame. It’s classic. But the husband and wife design team decided on the shape for more reasons than simply aesthetics. In fact, it’s peculiar site played a role. As did the natural and obvious benefits of steeply slanted roof. “The design was driven by the slope of the site,” explains David Scott. “And the A-frame and exposed lumber frame allowed for detail repetition and to achieve 3 storeys with a roof form that directs the snow to the ground away from the doors.”

The building’s exposed beams and repeating lumber joinery is rough sawn locally sourced douglas fir, while the ground floor poured concrete anchored directly into the bedrock. To further cut down on the environmental impact of materials, the inter cabinetry was built on site using construction grade plywood, while the beautifully dark marble countertops are from a Vancouver Island quarry. The exterior uses more concrete and red cedar shakes that will in time weather to the same hue as the surrounding rock.

Inside you’ll find a cozy main floor complete with wood fired stove and deck area with impressive view of Green Lake. The top floor features a bedroom, bunk room and guest room/den with private, east-facing terrace, while the ground floor houses perhaps the most important room in the house, the gear storage room. For us, as NYC residents, a proper wet/dry room for everything from bikes and snowboards to backcountry gear and hiking equipment is the real dream.

See more of the highly considered weekend retreat and other equally impressive projects at Scott & Scott Architects.

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