Minimalist Escape: Chalet Poisson Blanc

In the human quest for shelter, the trend has generally been bigger is better. Many builders and homeowners are creating enormous spaces and filling them with technology. WiFi-connected lighting, refrigerators with television screens, heated toilet seats, and voice-activated stereo systems are just a few examples. It would appear that despite our efforts, the perfected living space may forever be out of reach.

In our efforts to create the ultimate comfort, we may have created a monster. Perhaps this is why we are becoming more and more enamored with cabins in the woods—rustic getaways where you can leave all the nonsense behind. In a world that is always seeking more, and is constantly speeding up, getting out into the woods and slowing down may be just what the doctor ordered. As we all shelter in place to various degrees, it is enjoyable to consider the cabin in the woods, as destination that requires some effort to reach, maybe even locking the hubs in the depth of winter, a box full of maps to plan the next adventure. 

Modern Minimalist Cabin, Chalet Poisson Blanc

Welcome to Chalet Poisson Blanc, a modern, minimalist retreat located north of Montreal in the Laurentides region of Canada, an area characterized by boreal forests and thousands of kilometers of ski trails. This snowy region of Quebec is also home to the famous Mont-Tremblant ski resort.

Poisson Blanc was constructed in 2019, and its simple, square design doesn’t overwhelm but instead melds with the forested landscape. Perched on a sloping hillside, the chalet’s wraparound deck offers an elevated vantage point to survey the environment while generously-sized windows let in ample amounts of natural light.

On the inside, exposed ceiling joists soar overhead, while a single-color paint scheme, maple-veneer storage solutions, and stainless steel appliances feel right at home in the natural landscape. The architects at naturehumaine took their inspiration for this project from the nearby lake. They optimized the modest interior space of the cottage with simple, compact living spaces and by grouping services together. Poisson Blanc is the result of their exploration of the “purity of the cube.”


Photos: Raphaël Thibodeau

Learn more about Naturehumaine and Poisson Blanc-

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Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.