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9 Ford Rd. Frankel House. Ernst Plischke.

Modified beyond recognition, but an important house in NZ modernism, introducing the open, L-shape plan in the late 30s. Ernst Pliscke, an Austrian Emigre, designed this home for his sponsors. It was his first private commission in New Zealand and completed whilst working at the Ministry of Works in Wellington.

In his book Design and Living Plischke writes:

Since in a house of this size a separate study can rarely be afforded, the bedroom is equipped with a bed-recess closed by a curtain, and the room is furnished as a bed-livingroom. Far form being a show-piece on the street front the garden is domestic and private. It becomes even more pivate if the neighbouring hosues have similar shaped plans, enabling th ebedroom wings of the houses to create enclosed living courtyards. The back porch is not at the back of the house, but at the side. The delivery boy does not have to ealk along the whole length of the house, but enters directly from the street front. This arrangement gives the garden still more privacy.

The idea of keeping everything as light and thin as technically possible carries through also in to the interior design. Each chair is made according to its use and purpose. The dining chais are as light as possible; the readign chair is rather more comfortable. All of them can be easily moved.

The Frankel house circa 1940

The design was said to reference Frank Lloyd Wright’s Jacob house (above), but Plischke was not in agreement.

3 Responses to “9 Ford Rd. Frankel House. Ernst Plischke.”

  1. Warmth from the sun | Distracted Scientist Says:

    [...] is also a tale of how far we have come. When Austrian refugee architect Ernst Plischke designed a house in Christchurch c.1940, it was initially rejected because it did not have any* south facing windows. The issue was, [...]

  2. Leo Voorhoeve Says:

    Hi, just read your interest in the Frankle House , in Ford Rd. This week “Southern Response” has decided its a rebuild instead of repairing it due to major foundation costs.I am trying to prevent this. I am the current owner and feel it should be saved .

  3. admin Says:

    There’s no question it’s an important house and you’re quite right, it should be saved. Ideally, restored to the original plans.
    All the very best with it. Perhaps removing the unsympathetic second-storey addition may help simplify the foundations required?

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