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Design Review: Volume 4, Issue 4 (August-September 1952)

Letters to the Editor

page 94

Letters to the Editor


I read your contributor's suggestion that there should be more large blocks of flats in our sprawling cities. There seems to me to be one very good argument for them besides the objection to sprawl. That is, that where gradients are sharp (as in Dunedin) an imaginative architect could use a terraced design and, provided there are enough lifts, tenants on the top storey could enjoy hill air and save their breath. The part of the block running into the hill would, of course, be best used as offices, storage, machinery and garages.

But, generally speaking, high density of population to the acre produces traffic congestion worse than congestion produced by peak travelling to and from suburbs. All the services for persons in the congested area are liable to crowd the streets, and inhabitants on their private errands clash with business, school and industrial demands on transport. In the suburbs you have small local circulation (shopping, friends' calls, books, even amusement) and diminished central circulation of traffic.

Further, I was told that in areas subject to earthquake, the rather sketchy New Zealand bungalow is to be recommended.

I am, yours truly,


[High densities produce congestion only when the city is unplanned—or badly planned. Very high densities and concentration of population, business and industry are possible if modern town-planning techniques are properly applied. Corbusier's skyscraper city of three million people would have no traffic problems, because it would be possible to walk everywhere. In the larger New Zealand cities, densities are already high within a small radius of the city centre. But because of the lack of planning, standards of light, air, sun, open space and appearance are disgracefully low. These same people could be rehoused on the same land in tall blocks with acres of park and open space and with each flat enjoying high standards in every respect. Sharawag does not advocate mixing offices and warehouses with flats. Residential areas, be they high- or low-density, should be separated from the other activities of the city. This does not rule out the terraced flats on hillsides, with which Sharawag says he agrees.—Editor.]


You have finally worn me down. Enclosed is 30/-. Please regard 20/- as conscience money and the remaining 10/- as a year's subscription.

I envy you your evident faith in the belief that there has been, is or ever will be any architecture (amongst other things) in N.Z., hence the drop of oil for your altar-lamp.


Chas. F. Corne.



Please find enclosed my subscription for two years in advance together with a donation of ten shillings.

I note in your memo, that you ask for suggestions for improvements.

I feel that although your magazine is doing a good job it is not to any degree helping the person who is planning to build. By this I mean the married with two children of opposite sex. The majority of your plans have been for two bedroom houses with little chance of convenient addition and are of little help to the young married couple looking for ideas.

I feel that if the designers would concentrate on three bedroom houses (third bedroom to be built when required) priced at under £3,000 they would be serving a greater purpose.

For instance I have recent copies of your magazine before me and the only issue that I consider contains anything of interest to the majority and they are the people we must look to, is the Sept-October 1950 issue. I think this plan would be suitable and convenient for a family, more than other plans you have featured with both front and back doors opening to the Living-Dining Room.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon R. Anott.

Unfortunately the Architects have of necessity to concentrate only on those problems which their Clients' put before them. Only a few are able to find the time to do otherwise. However, this issue presents two houses intended for the larger family. We hope that they will prove of interest.


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