Our client’s brief was to design three luxury ski chalets in a world-renowned ski resort in the French Alps. Material performance and aesthetics were key aspects of the brief as the design needed to consider the harsh weather conditions in the Alps as well as achieving high quality, energy efficient constructions that would be desirable to stay in.

A bespoke lower ground pool with a specialist acrylic pool screen was designed to withstand movements of the supporting structure and accommodate for thermal movements within the chalets. The design would allow unconstrained thermal expansion of the pool screen to happen, minimising stresses related to thermal expansion.

The construction was sustainably designed with the inclusion of an innovative thermal strategy suitable for the chalet’s location and use. Most significantly was the integration of smart glazing into the chalets that would lead to large performance improvements and added functionality. This innovative technology can modulate its thermo-optical properties in response to external stimuli like climate or occupant requirements. Smart glazing would improve indoor environmental conditions such as daylight utilisation, view optimisation and thermal comfort aspects which is a significant benefit to the differing seasonal weather conditions in the Alps. It would also improve energy use and carbon emissions by reducing heating, cooling, and lighting energy usage in a controllable manner.

Our client’s design combines careful consideration of comfort and lifestyle, with state-of-the-art functionality. The buildings blend into the visual context of the surrounding area as a result of the sympathetic construction materials proposed. The bespoke pool has been designed specifically to accommodate for the limitations created by the chalets. The chalets have been designed to be sustainably adaptive to changes in their environment and to the requirements of occupants. They are highly energy efficient, provide long-term carbon capture and are future-proof in their unique ability to adapt their thermal requirements.

We worked with the client to identify the baseline on knowledge in the architectural sector and within their own company to assess the levels of R&D in each of their projects.