type='image/x-icon'/> Ernst Plischke Buildings in New Zealand: Frankel House

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Frankel House

Plischke's first commisssion in New Zealand, the Frankel house is relatively conventional in construction because Plischke felt disinclined to experiment in what were to him unfamiliar surroundings. The basic L-shape was to remain a dominant feature of his subsequent work, however.

Designed & Built: 1939-40

Location: 9 Ford Rd, Christchurch

Clients: Sir Otto Frankel (d.1998) & Margaret Anderson (d.1997)
Otto Frankel assisted Plischke to emigrate from Austria to New Zealand, arranging employment for him at the Dept of Housing Construction.

Design Features:

L-shape floor plan, flat roof, oriented to garden; multi-purpose space; built-in furniture; Linda Tyler draws extended comparison with Wright's first Usonian house for Herbert Jacobs (designed 1936, published 1938); also with Paul Pascoe's Harris House. Plischke himself denied any prior knowledge of the Jacobs house.

Construction Details:
Timber framing, roughsawn rimu weatherboard cladding

Current status: Heavily modified

Heritage Status: N/A

A picture of the house today can be seen here

For comparison, check out this 1938 picture of the Jacobs house:

Photo from January 1938 issue of Architectural Forum.

E.A. Plishke, Design and Living. Wellington Dept of Internal Affairs, 1947. Line drawings and narrative, pp.39-42
E.A. Plischke, On the Human Aspect in Modern Architecture. Wedl, 1969. (pictures of the house on pp.130-131)
Linda Tyler, The Architecture of E.A. Plischke in New Zealand. Unpublished thesis, University of Canterbury, 1986. (commentary pp.66-73)
Frank Lloyd Wright, "Usonian House for Herbert Jacobs" in Architectural Forum, Jan. 1938, pp.78-83.

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