Location: Sugar Bowl, Norden, California, United State of America
Architect: Mork-Ulnes Architects
Design date: 2013
Completion date: 2016
Site area: 1625m2
Built area: 309m2
Design Team: Greg Ladigin, Anatoly Starr, Lexie Mork-Ulnes, Casper Mork-Ulnes, Kyle Anderson
Project consultants Interior and furniture design: Lexie Mork-Ulnes
Interior Design Structural engineer: Gabbart & Woods Structural Engineers
Civil engineer: Ferrell Civil Engineering
General contractor: Barth Construction
Photography: Bruce Damonte
Text provided by the architects:
”We call the house troll hus, with a reference to the otherworldly beings in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore that are said to dwell in remote mountains.” says architect Casper Mork-Ulnes
Located in the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, 2.5 hours northeast of San Francisco, this 5 bedroom ski cabin was designed for 3 generations to enjoy simultaneously. The essential diagram is straightforward: take the alpine chalet building type and lift it onto a concrete plinth to protect it from the snow. Located at an elevation of 6,800 feet (2,000 meters), the building needs to withstand extreme snowfall that can exceed 800 inches (20 meters). The residence’s positioning on-site, however, is more nuanced. Influenced by prevailing wind-drift direction and other climatic factors, the orientation shields the building from the street and directs views to a private stream and forest beyond. Living spaces are arranged along the open, south-facing facade to maximize solar exposure. The shaded northern face contains utility rooms where small punched windows draw in indirect northern light but minimize heat loss. Tar-treated wood siding recedes among the tree trunks of this wooded site, and at dusk the interior finished with minimally treated fir glows warmly through the windows.
”The owners were looking for a relaxed, welcoming environment. We suggested an interior atmosphere that is simultaneously cozy and airy. We went for a stripped-down, almost purified aesthetic. simplicity is luxury,” affirms Lexie Mork-Ulnes, the architect’s wife who was in charge of all the interior design for the house.
”the distinctive black hue of the house helps it recede among the tree trunks of this wooded site, and at dusk, the interior finished with minimally treated fir, glows warmly through the windows. the retreat is completely attuned to its natural environment,” says Casper Mork-Ulnes.