New Zealand has a rich history of building architecture and home designs. It has a unique story originating from immigrants who adapted to new conditions and materials.
Most modern homes, however, take inspiration from the first European architects who set foot in the land. The Victorian influences are evident in the designs, as they were a result of traditional British flair. The following are some of the most prominent examples of New Zealand’s vibrant home design.
The 19th to Early 20th Century
The 19th century saw mostly Georgian styles for homes, whose facades bore precise symmetry. The mission stations at Northland and the Treaty House located in Waitangi are excellent examples. The tail end of the century fell in line with overseas trends, including Gothic revival styles. Most of these houses consisted of wood, brick, or stone.
Early 20th century houses emphasised the grandiosity of European half-timbered designs that inspired local architecture. Wood panels are the dominant interior material, ignoring industrial production and going for more artsy patterns.
1930s Modernism to Neo-Modernism
Architects in the late 1930s started adopting modernist styles, employing flat roofs and wide indoor spaces consisting mostly of glass. Ernst Plischke, who was of Austrian origin, designed some of the most famous modernist homes in his time. Other architects experimented with implementing exposed timber and traditional Maori design, calling it local modernism.
In the 1980s, architecture styles fiddled around with design inspiration: multitudes of decorative elements like open-plan rooms and stylish balustrades in New Zealand homes commenced a new wave of trends. Functionality was also an essential part of this movement, doing away with unnecessary flourishes and replacing them with clean lines and lots of glass.
A country’s architecture paints a vivid picture of its history, with home design sometimes getting overlooked. Domestic architecture plays an equally important role in giving life to past events, with each block of wood or piece of furniture carrying all the stories of its designers and previous occupants.