A Bright and Inviting Chalet in the Heart of the Canadian Wilderness

We’ve all been watching a lot of Netflix ever since COVID-19 hit because, let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do when sheltering in place. Thanks to shows like Win the Wild and Alone, many of us are dreaming of leaving society behind and heading to the Great White North where people are few and adventure is plenty. Need a bit of inspiration for your isolation cabin? Look no further than Poisson Blanc — a bright white chalet tucked into the Canadian wilderness.

Poisson Blanc

Minimalism is often referred to as a crisp and clean style and a look at Poisson Blanc shows why. The bright white exterior is unblemished and fresh, standing out against the trees in the summer and blending in with the freshly fallen snow in the winter. But just because minimalism is crisp and clean, doesn’t mean it’s boring. Poisson Blanc offers a stylish and inviting place to relax in the heart of the forests of Quebec.

Taking its name from the lake it is located on, Poisson Blanc was built with the main principles of minimalism in mind. The land it is built on informed the design of the home. The brainchild of the team at Nature Humaine Architecture & Design, this little chalet is located on a rocky and rugged site, which forced the footprint to remain small. However, anchoring the base into the bedrock resulted in a sturdy structure that is grounded in nature both literally and figuratively. This idea of nature first, of not disrupting the surrounding trees, is a key principle of the minimalist design movement.

Inside, the bright white continues, making Poisson Blanc a refreshing and welcoming space. Soaring vaulted ceilings are white like the walls, and even the exposed support beams are white, reducing visual clutter and keeping the focus on the views outside, which have been framed by carefully placed large picture windows. 

In keeping with the minimalist vibe, there is little ornamentation to the architecture. Light gray floors offer only the slightest contrast against the bright white walls. A built-in shelving unit in the open-plan living area is done in unfinished wood, adding a touch of warmth to the space. The kitchen cabinetry is made from the same wood, bringing balance and continuity. 

Thanks to the slope of the land, Poisson Blanc was built down instead of up. Several things were achieved with this unique solution. The overall height of the home does not compete with the trees and building the private quarters into the lower level creates a sense of intimacy — ideal for the bedrooms and bathroom. The result is that when viewed from certain angles, Poisson Blanc appears to be a quaint one-story cottage on the edge of the hill. Only when you get closer do you see it is actually an architecturally grand two-story chalet anchored into the land, offering peace and solitude in a chaotic world. 

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