Friday, 23 October 2009

Architectural Mini-Tutorial: The New Zealand House

Every place has a house form that’s unique to that place – unique because of history, because climate, because of landscape or way of life.

Given what we have here, and our relaxed way of life, here’s how the New Zealand house appears to me, in oomparison to some of the house types of other times and other places . . .


  1. Man is born free, yet everywhere is in villas

  2. That's very good. Why oh why do they chain themselves up so?

  3. Thank you; perhaps it because they think the essence of living in New Zealand can be found in historical authenticity (despite their villas being gutted and transformed in order to be inhabitable).

  4. That's a bit harsh on the villa. People like them, and like living in them.

    The bay windows, which break the symmetry, very much aid livability. A surrounding verandah (if it's survived without being enclosed) can be a very nice transitional space between interior and exterior, especially when the site is steep.

    High ceilings for the formal spaces are very nice, and a central entryway/hall works well for many people and sites. I like the lean-to kitchen off the back with its lower ceiling, which can make for a nicely informal space.

    And while I find the froo-froo details of some villas a bit much, it's so nice to have a style that doesn't think decoration is a crime.

    (yeah, okay, I really like old bungalows too)


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