Now that we're officially into November, have you started planning where to go for a ski trip over the holidays yet? How does the combination of snow, stars, and vacation chalets sound? The truth is, while we were searching diligently for the sources of some photos on our idea board (because giving credits where they are due is very important), we came across this magical place — Gorska Osada — in the mountains of Poland. Although it's not Christmas yet, and we don't know when our next vacation will be, the photos of Gorska Osada are just too beautiful to not let more people know about these gorgeous ski chalets! (All photos from: Gorska Osada)
In a clearing among the forests in Tatra National Park, Poland, an architect and artist Urszula Górska-Iwicka has been building wooden alpine houses for years, and her Gorska Osada collection is a true masterpiece utilising architecture ideas from local Podhale highlands as well as reminiscing of Swiss luxury resorts. She wanted the chalets to feel warm — both visually (to preserve the beauty of highland houses) and physically (to combat the harsh conditions prevailing in the Tatra Mountains). Her love for folk architecture and folklore of Podhale, as well as natural elements from the local area — wood and stone — can be seen here in every photo. The interior looks designer and luxurious. We admire the beautiful work of local craftsmen that's visible in every detail, especially the carved patterns paying tribute to Koliba Witkiewicz.
The chalets stand on huge mountain rocks brought there from the local quarries.
"I wanted it to feel that it is a house in the mountains, natural, wooden, on rocky ground, raw as Tatra trails... To keep the mountains close, even when sitting in a warm room in front of the fire. Therefore, even the fireplace was placed on a large rock, weighing over three tons. This is the heart of the house visible from anywhere," says Urszula.
Although the chalet has two levels, because Urszula gave up part of the floor on the mezzanine level to uncover the view of attic structure, the loft becomes an intimate space where whoever looks down from above can see the fireplace in the living room.
The kitchen, the living room, and the terrace are one large open space. All the furnitures were made by local carpenters from brushed spruce. "I like the simplicity of wood," says Urszula. "In projects, I want to show what the beauty of the material is, what colour and structure really are, and support local craftsmen and folk artists."
This specific chalet pictured by Rafał Lipski is called Luxury Chalet Gronostaji — together with several other alpine houses of the Gorska Osada, it is located in the middle of several ski resorts in Poland. No matter if your vacation idea is skiing and snowboarding in the winter or horseback-riding and hiking in the summer, we bet returning to a chalet like this will be a pure bliss at the end of the day!