Troll Hus designed by Mork Ulnes Architects is a contemporary retreat in a ski village perched atop Lake Tahoe’s Donner Summit in northern California, which was commissioned by a retired couple as a second home for their three children and partners, and seven grandchildren.
Located in the ski resort of Sugar Bowl, the building sits on a gentle slope at an altitude of 2,000 meters in an area where the annual snowfall can exceed 20 meters. Immersed in alpine forest, the design responds to the owners’ desire for a secluded refuge offering a constant connection with the natural environment.
Troll Hus is designed on an east-west axis. The north-south angled sloped roof is designed to shed snow easily, while covering all outdoor areas. The two entrances are located on the east side to avoid snow or icicles that may fall from the roof. The house faces a popular cross-country trail to the north, so Mork-Ulnes created a more private northern facade, punctured with necessary openings but essentially turning its back to the public. This also helps with heat retention, protecting the house from northerly winds.
”The owners were looking for a relaxed, welcoming environment. We suggested an interior atmosphere that is simultaneously cozy and airy. We went for a stripped down, almost purified aesthetic. Simplicity is luxury,” affirms Lexie Mork-Ulnes, the architect’s wife who was in charge of all the interior design for the house.