The chalet, a luxurious and romantic remote mountain hut that exists in “splendid isolation” in a sunny winter landscape — this is one of the most popular cliché images of Switzerland. However, the actual meaning of the term “chalet”, derived from the Latin word cala: “protected place”, is simply that of an Alpine dairy hut or shelter.
On his many trips through his adopted home, Patrick Lambertz has run into many houses that do not conform to the chliché of the Swiss chalet. They are old houses that barely managed to escape the building and renovation boom that has plagued the country for decades. By photographing them in front of a wintery backdrop he abstracts these houses from their context, heightens their individual character, and provides them with an aura of poetry and irony. Following the tradition of Karl Blossfeldt and Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lambertz creates a typological canon of forgotten, yet memorable Swiss houses. Nature itself provides the photo studio: cloudy skies and dense fog provide soft light with little contrast. Snow covered mountains and hills deliver the neutral backdrop.
SYB, the legendary photobook designer from The Hague and master of the “Dutch altar fold”, developed a congenial minimalist concept for the book of Patrick Lambertz’s photographs from the Swiss mountains. The houses are made to steadily appear and disappear from the wintery white paper.
Patrick Lambertz : Chalets of Switzerland
24 × 32 cm
184 pages, 34 double page pictures
Text: Daniel Blochwitz, Edwin Huwyler, Monika Twerenbold
Design: SYB, Den Haag
Hardcover with swiss binding and foil stamping
Limited Edition available