Changing places: New Zealand Houses by Winkler & Eisenhofer 1958 to 1969

Tanja Poppelreuter

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The Austrian-born architects Erwin Winkler and Fritz Eisenhofer immigrated to New Zealand during the 1950s. After working at the Housing Division of the Ministry of Works, they established a joint architectural practice in 1958 when the growing New Zealand economy and governmental efforts, such as the Group Housing Scheme, increased the building of homes. At the same time the repetitive appearance of English Cottage Style state houses, that had been built in reaction to a severe housing shortage after the Second World War, led to a demand for architecturally designed homes. In reaction to this,Winkler & Eisenhofer established a reputation as a non-conformist practice in creating homes that not only offered modern open-plan living, but also featured unusual features, murals or sculptures. After New Zealand had overcome the housing shortage by the early 1960s, and during an economic upsurge, the practice received commissions from wealthy clients and was no longer competing with builders who offered standardised homes. Winkler & Eisenhofer now oriented their houses towards contemporary American precedents created for a clientele who wished their homes to reflect individuality, internationality and modernity. A number of architectural practices sought at the same time to develop a distinct New Zealand architectural idiom. This paper investigates how the careers of Winkler & Eisenhofer developed at a time when the demand for homes that were designed to overcome a housing shortage, shifted to a demand for modern houses that reflected a newly developing life-style. Within the complex discourse on architectural modernism in New Zealand, Winkler & Eisenhofer's houses were created outside of the ongoing search for a distinct New Zealand style.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe Journal of Architecture
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Nov 2013


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