Whistler Ski House
- Olson Kundig
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.
A custom designed horizontal shutter system creates privacy and also protects upholstery and art from harsh snow glare. With simple crank and switch controls the façade can transform from glass clad to semi-exposed with raw-edged Douglas fir louvers, to completely protected with weathered steel.
The house is designed as two separate structures connected by an 80-foot-long glass-walled bridge. The larger of the wings contains the living and dining area, master bedroom, and two guest rooms. The smaller wing, or kids’ wing, has four rooms furnished with enough beds to accommodate the family’s children, their friends and leaves room for future grandchildren.
The bridge not only creates privacy between the two wings but also weaves through a grouping of evergreens. By spreading out the house across the site trees were preserved but views were also maximized. On one side the floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a mountain lake stretching across the foot of the property; on the other side is a forest of firs, hemlocks and aspens.
“Our main goal with this family retreat was to create a design that would allow it to withstand its harsh mountain climate, as well as its location in a high seismic risk zone. This is a mountain home that’s almost completely wrapped in operable devices to protect it from weather conditions. The steel and wood shutter system allows the glazing to be fully exposed, or totally buttoned up, or somewhere in between.” –Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal; Steve Grim, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, Project Manager/Architect; Alivia Owens, LEED® AP, and Evan Harlan, Architectural Staff
Key Consultants: Dowbuilt, General Contractor; W.T. Leung Architects, Inc., Associate Architect; CJ Anderson Civil Engineering, Inc., Civil Engineer; Fast+Epp, Structural Engineer; WSP Flack + Kurtz, Lighting, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer; Spearhead, Digital Design Assist; exp Services Inc., Geotechnical Engineer; Turner Exhibits, Gizmo Engineering and Fabrication