The Japanese practice’s latest work is a reboot of the classic holiday residence on Utah’s Powder Mountain.

Key features

An hour north of Salt Lake City, Utah you’ll reach Powder Mountain – purportedly North America’s largest ski resort. It’s also where you’ll find Schemata Architects’s latest project: a wood-and-steel chalet fit for visiting snow-sport buffs. Their work was subject to strict building regulations being in a natural park, and so the 120-sq-m, two-floor structure is designed to ‘take up the maximum allowable volume’, as the architects explain. The lower floor is constructed with steel frames as to create a safe distance between the building and slope it is on. On top, Schemata positioned a highly insulated wooden structure to protect the interior. The chalet is neighboured by other residences and provides a central point for access to both the ski resort and nearby town, with mesmerizing scenic views all around. ‘The compact size is perfect for experiencing the grandeur of nature, giving you a sense of being nestled in it,’ the team continues.

Frame’s take

Utah is home to no shortage of luxury resorts, Powder Mountain being among them. A 2018 Guardian write-up on the resort (which was acquired by its current owners in 2013) noted that ‘residents must use vetted architects to ensure that their home is “subservient to the land” and in a style that has been called “heritage modernism” – it is planned that 500 homes will be on the mountain eventually. If the residences that have been built already are any indication, Powder Mountain may very well become a desirable destination for the design-savvy. Schemata’s work offers a fresh take on the classic chalet – a pleasing meeting ground between industrial warehouse and wood cabin. An ample use of windows to showcase the landscape’s beauty doesn’t hurt, either.