The Brunner family inscribed their family motto on the Chalet, “Wenn Got mit uns, wer ist gegen uns!” This translates to “If God is with us, who can be against us!” The saying, along with the names of Heinrich and Elisabeth and the builder, Herr Pittier, remain proudly inscribed on the Chalet.
The Chalet has extensive provenance. Originally built by the local Swiss family Heinrich and Elisabeth Brunner in 1904, it was used as a summer home to escape the lower valley’s heat. Though only a summer residence, it had extensive craftsmanship details that were reserved for only the best permanent houses of the time. Soon after it was built, a fire destroyed much of the village. Few structures exist prior to 1910 in this area of the village.
At some point the Chalet was upgraded for winter living, colder weather and skiing stopovers. The Chalet’s electrical wiring and heating were added in the 1970s by the Lonsdale-Hands family, when it became a year-round residence. A member of the family who own the House of Chanel purchased the Chalet in the 1990s and lived there until the current owners bought the Chalet in 2007.
Over the past 30 years the house fell into disrepair. The current owners wanted to restore the Chalet and over the past two years l’Arole has emerged, reborn like a Phoenix from the ashes. The renovation respects the beauty of the property whilst updating its technology and sustainability credentials.
The Chalet’s name comes from the local arole tree. This wood is from a rare, extremely slow-growing pine tree that is found at high altitudes and is able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Its slow growth results in the wood having a high density and having similar properties of hardy oak. Its slow growth also makes it nearly impossible to find it for construction purposes today.