Design Review: Volume 3, Issue 6 (May-June 1951)
A House Near Wanganui
A House Near Wanganui
This house has a sprawling plan which gives it character, particularly in these days of tight tidiness in planning. It is unconventional in its relation of parts. There is no front door in the suburban manner, nor a back door. The laundry is well separated from the kitchen, and to get from the living room to the bedroom it is necessary to pass through the dining room. There is a continuity, a length of vista passing from the bedroom No. 1 to the far corner of the living room which is exceptional in a house of this floor area.
In place of the usual small back porch there is a very large one — large enough to house the car and the children's play things. In fact, it is now used while the children are small as a covered play place. As the children grow the car will no doubt be housed there, as it is extremely handy to have the car just off the kitchen. It is this carport, play space, back porch which is a specially interesting piece of planning. This and the apparently careless but delightful manner in which the house sprawls across the wide sward of lawn in front of the tall trees.
The house is placed well back from the main west road leading out of Wanganui and thus is seen by all those who travel along the road. Because it does not conform to the average conception of suburban house design it is not acceptable to all who pass by. But it is always remarked upon.
This is an important house not because of its outstanding originality and correctness of detail or design, but because the plan is open and generous and the elevations are vigorous, informal and inviting-in a word it is a piece of architecture.
Above: A glimpse of the meal room from the living room. It is worth noting that the clerestory windows which brilliantly light the inner wall also provide a three-dimensional change in space which is played off against the conventional rectangular room.
Compared with the house as a whole, the living room fireplace is formal. A formality which provides a setting for furniture of other days, though it is perhaps not so suitable for social gatherings of today.