At home in the valley

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In the heart of the Chamonix Valley, architect Lionel Adam designed a secondary residence which hides behind a traditional look a very careful implementation and close energy performance. Fulfilling these requirements allowed the holiday home to be certified with the Swiss Minergie label, a registered quality label for new and refurbished low-energy-consumption buildings. The London based owners, a couple with three children, acquired a parcel of land 1200m2 in the Valley and gave Adam carte blanche. They had no preconceived ideas for their alpine chalet, neither about the materials, nor about energy performance or interior decoration. Their only reference point was that they had heard about "green high-tech" houses built in the mountains of Colorado. “In General, my customer belongs to a generation which seeks to preserve the site its benefits. This was entirely my logic and my frame of mind," continues the architect. "This responds to my agency’s philosophy which wants to pass on my love of the mountains.” “I love poetry of the raw matter, of local materials, in the manner of how people have traditionally used them.” For ten years, Lionel Adam committed to an alternative mountain architecture that could be called vernacular contemporary. Writer Christine Besson -

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