In Switzerland, the term “raccard” designates the traditional granaries that can be found in the Alps and surrounding areas. These structures are built above ground and often supported by wooden stilts — to prevent unwelcome visitors (read: wildlife) from pillaging the grain or fodder reserves.
Designed by Chevallier Architectes, the Caraccard chalet (a portmanteau of “character” and “raccard”), as it came to be known, lives up to its name. Located on an alpine plateau in France’s Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, the wooden structure rises from a pre-existing concrete base.
Inside the “raised attic,” as the architects call it, a warm atmosphere reigns, due in no small part to the larch finishes throughout. Most of the surfaces — even the ceiling — are covered in wood and a free-standing fireplace in the middle of the living area provides a welcoming focus point for the cozy chalet.
Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the interior in natural sunlight, and provide 360-degree views of the surrounding Alps. From each corner of the home, a different landscape is visible. A wraparound deck made of — you guessed it — wood forms a viewing platform in clement weather.
Overhangs and corbels form the cottage’s atypical structure; they posed a challenge for the architects, who had to ensure the continuity of each facade — an exercise which they compared to “solving a Rubik’s Cube.” The vernacular typology is completed with custom-designed cladding made of larch, reinforcing the “boxy” effect.
Built in the shape of a Rubik’s Cube, this wooden cottage is anything but traditional.