Friday 16 January 2015

Bungalow - From Heritage To Contemporary

Growing up in New Zealand I wanted to live in one of those cute little villas you see in the Auckland suburbs of Ponsonby, however, when we were searching for the perfect do up, we ended up with a 1930's bungalow in a tree lined street in Mt Albert. Although it didn't have quite the same exterior charm as a villa, we found the interior more spacious and loved the built in features. The NZ bungalow is now the focus of a major new book about NZ bungalow architecture, 'Bungalow From Heritage to Contemporary', a stunning book I was keen to review.

Bungalow', From Heritage To Contemporary, a Random House Godwit publication, depicts the architectural heritage of New Zealand bungalows. Edited by Nicole Stock, Patrick Reynolds stunning photography of the NZ bungalow brings this book to life. The architectural detail seen in some of the examples in the book made me realise the importance of the bungalow to NZ architecture.

'Bungalow' shares many examples of the typical 1930's NZ bungalows around the Auckland region. Other examples throughout New Zealand also feature, two such examples being Waddell Smith House in Dunedin and Higgs bungalow in Wellington, both with examples of the beautiful architectural detail that can be seen in some of these buildings. Patrick has been able to photograph not only the exteriors, but also some of the interiors and includes photographic detail such as the varying styles of handles and window latches typical to these homes. Nicole talks in detail about the NZ bungalow, how they originated and their connection with the bungalows of California. She also discusses the built in features such as the beautiful wood panelling seen in some examples and the built in cabinetry such as window seats, cupboards and kitchens. Patrick's photos beautifully detail these aspects throughout the book.

Of course these homes might not fit today's requirements for modern living and although most retain their exterior character, many of today's bungalows have been modernised internally. One such example is a Remuera bungalow
 featured on pages 138-149. The bungalow still retains its exterior character from the street, yet it has been sympathetically modernised by Robin O'Donnell Architects. From the front exterior the home still has its traditional appearance, yet walk inside and you are greeted by a contemporary light filled interior, with a rear extension that compliments the original architecture of the home. 

I could talk far more about the book but feel that Patrick's photos would do more justice, so I am sharing some images I have taken from inside the cover, including the Remuera bungalow I mentioned above. If you would like to purchase Bungalow', From Heritage To Contemporary through Fishpond, the normal retail price is NZ$80.00. It is also available as an ebook, however I would definitely recommend purchasing the hardback as a fabulous example for your coffee table.

2. Above: A shot of the cover of the book and beneath an old photo shows the front exterior of my previous home, typical of some of the bungalows around the Mt Albert area

5. Above: Layers of old wallpaper and floor covering peel back to reveal timber

Below: This fabulous bungalow has had a complete makeover. The front of the house retains its original architecture, while the rear has a fabulous contemporary extension that compliments the original architecture.


Image sources photos 1/4/6/7/8 Patrick Reynolds 
Image 2/3 taken of the book by myself

If you love Bungalows, interior design, architecture and New Zealand, then you are sure to enjoy Bungalow From Heritage To Contemporary.


  1. That bungalow remodel is so amazing! What a gorgeous home! You're bungalow was so sweet! How much fun that would be to live in. We had lovely bungalows in Portland that were just darling. I always loved that style.

    1. Thanks for your comment Kelly, sorry I didn't see this earlier. The 1930's bungalows in New Zealand are very similar to those in the US, in fact some are called 'Californian bungalows' and I guess were taken from the architecture in California.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes Tim a really fabulous book and a great addition to the coffee table. Sorry for this late reply, It seems that my comment notifications were not working and I have only just seen both these comments today.


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