Published in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Volume 3, Issue 1, Fall October 1, 1991, pages 54-64.
The history of the Swiss chalet is a history of recycled form. This paper considers the nature of the chalet as a vernacular building type, its appropriation beginning in the eighteenth century within picturesque theory and high-style architecture in England and America, and its eventual return to the vernacular in the form of the early-twentieth-century bungalow.
The goal of the paper is to explore the process by which specific vernacular forms may become integrated into more generalized styles of building. Special attention is paid to identifying the archetypal chalet elements in the high-style work of architects Charles and Henry Greene, which architectural historians have normally identified with Asian rather than European influences. Finally, an appeal is made for a better understanding of the concept of style as it pertains to architecture in the modern period.