A Modern Ski House in the Alps

Christine Chang Hanway

If the magical wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were to go modern, it might look something like this holiday retreat in the Italian alpine village of Madesimo.

While alpine conditions are conducive to small and cozy living, Italian architect Enrico Scaramellini's insertion of a finely crafted, narrow wooden box (380 square feet) between two existing farm buildings is so small and cozy, it could actually be mistaken for a wardrobe. And with the omnipresent wintry landscape, who knows? This could be Narnia.

Photography by Marcello Mariana via This Is Paper.

A wooden door opens out to a wintry alpine landscape
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A wooden door opens out to a wintry alpine landscape

Above: A view out into the wintry alpine landscape.

Gray wood modern facade between a rural stone and gray stucco building with snow on the roof
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Gray wood modern facade between a rural stone and gray stucco building with snow on the roof

Above: Scaramellini used silver-gray paints to echo the existing aged and weathered wood of the surrounding rural buildings.

natural tones of the wood warm up the interior
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natural tones of the wood warm up the interior

Above: The natural tones of the wood warm up the new construction.

bedroom lined from floor to ceiling in wood
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bedroom lined from floor to ceiling in wood

Above: The scale and material of the wood-lined bedroom is similar to the inside of a cedar closet.

vertical and horizontal grains of wood make an abstract composition
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vertical and horizontal grains of wood make an abstract composition

Above: Scaramellini uses the vertical and horizontal grains of the wood to create abstract geometrical compositions.

closed gray wooden doors
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closed gray wooden doors

Above: The wooden panels in their closed position.

open gray wooden doors
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open gray wooden doors

Above: The wooden panels offer different levels of transparency.

morning view and evening view of the same house
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morning view and evening view of the same house

Above: The wooden panels open in the morning (L) and return to their closed position in the early evening (R).

plan view illustrating narrow insertion
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plan view illustrating narrow insertion

Above: A plan of the ground and first floors illustrating the narrow insertion.

Warm and cozy on your mind? See our photo gallery of Swiss design. Also don't miss, 12 Wood-Paneled Alcove Beds, Winter Edition.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on February 4, 2013 as part of our On the Mountain week.