Inside a Celestial Rothschild Chalet on the Peak of the French Alps

The wood-clad home designed by Alain Mazza presents soaring views and an sleek twist on the modern chalet.

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Gilles Trillard

After World War I ended in 1918, the Roths­childs apparently grew tired of crossing into Switzerland for ski trips. The famed banking family took their business just outside Megève, a mountain town near Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, which they turned into France’s answer to St. Moritz. Today, the chalets that pepper the powdery landscape, like this one designed by Chamonix-based architect Alain Mazza, are still a draw for the international jet set. Located three miles outside of Megève and perched over the town of Praz-sur-Arly, the home’s sylvan interiors were designed by Nathalie Oddo and Anne Gernez.

Their vision? A vast, almost ascetic space, brimming with light and open-ended rooms, that treats the architecture as an equal. Color and pattern are mostly elided in favor of unvarnished wood planks that create a unifying, earthy palette. Rows of picture windows overlook the celestial panorama. The warmth and simplicity of the design is born of respect: In an environment such as this, imbued with enough natural beauty to impress the Roths­childs, it’s best to let Mother Nature’s landscaping be the center of attention.

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1 Open Dining
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

A 1970s Murano chandelier from Stéphane Olivier hangs above a marble-topped table by Bleu Nature in the dining room.

2 Panoramic Views
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

On the balcony—which overlooks the neighboring peaks, including Mont Blanc—the chairs are by Airborne, and the side tables are by Bleu Nature.

3 Unvarnished Wood
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

A hallway sheathed in reclaimed wood leads to a guest bedroom.

4 A Living Room Flooded with Light
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

The living room of the chalet designed by architect Alain Mazza and decorated by Nathalie Oddo and Anne Gernez. The sofa is by Caravane, the cocktail tables are by Sempre, and the armchairs are from a Paris flea market.

5 The Master Bedroom
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

In the master bedroom, a sliding screen separates the bed from the adjoining bath. An Airborne chair pulls up to a built-in desk in reclaimed wood.

6 The Master Bathroom
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

The master bath’s Agape tub is by Patricia Urquiola, and the black-and-white tile on the wall and floor is Moroccan.

7 A Pool Overlooking the Alps
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

A picture window affords a view of the Alps from the lap pool. At right, sliding partitions in wood, glass, and metal lead into an exercise room.

8 A Statement Staircase
Wood Chalet France Home Tour
Gilles Trillard

In the entry, the staircase features metal suspension cables and wood slats.

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