History of New Zealand Art Deco Architecture
New Zealand has over 200 years of residential architecture and in today's residential society we often see the influence of the art deco era. This style first emerged in France just prior to World War 1. Becoming internationally popular from 1925 as a result of the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, from which this style of architecture takes its name. Characterised by functional buildings which featured lots of glass and chrome, cubic forms and limited adornments, art deco buildings from the 1930’s had:
- Flat roofs
- Stucco clad walls
- Parapet walls
- Rounded corners
- Semi-circular curved walls
- No external facing boards on windows and doors
- External decorations such as chevrons, horizontal lines or zig zags
- Shallow recessed porch
Types of Art Deco Homes
New Zealand had two common types of art deco homes which were regularly built from the 1930’s; speculative and architecturally designed. Speculative art deco homes were very similar to traditional NZ housing stock, but had plastered walls, flat roofs, rounded corners and minimal decorative additions. Architecturally-designed art deco homes were not as common, due to their cost. Owners of these homes were generally wealthy and wanted to keep up with the latest international trends.
Renovating an Art Deco Home
Solidly built, art deco homes can be found in many areas around New Zealand. Though because of some weathertight issues, lack of insulation and the desire to modernise, the renovation of art deco homes is relatively common. Art deco home owners love their properties because they have been built in that style. For that reason, renovations need to retain the special character of these homes in their street appeal and internal features. This is not just for visual appearances but to also help retain the value of the property.
Common art deco renovations undertaken by builders include:
- Roof alterations and re-cladding
- Replacement of internal wall linings
- Installing insulation
- Removing internal walls to make the house open plan
- Replacing wooden windows with aluminium frames
- Adding decks and external doors to improve indoor/outdoor flow
Art deco homes can be subject to special building restrictions put in place by local councils in order to protect their special character. Before you begin to plan your renovations, a chat with one of our knowledgeable local building teams will help you understand what you are able to alter about your home. They will also be able to suggest possible renovation ideas, in keeping with the art deco style. Book your complimentary In Home Consultation with your local Pzazz builder today!