Despite October being New Zealand book week there's been very few NZ books turning up on the library's New Books shelf. However, just in time to round of fthe month a new book Villa: From Heritage to Contemporary has arrived in all its hardcover glory.
The book's authors, heritage architecture Jeremy Salmond, Home New Zealand editor Jeremy Hansen and architectural photographer Patrick Reynolds have recognised that more people in inner-city suburbs throughout New Zealand end up living in a villa than a house of any other architectural style. Many villa dwellers have struggled with renovations - being it modernising a Vctorian layout for 21st century living or trying to reverse some 20th century renovation horrors of aluminium windows and lowered gib board ceilings. This book looks at around 25 of owners solutions to these problems as well as at villas that have remained untouched over the years and at villas that have seen better days, including an infamous Dunedin student flat.
In addition the book kicks off with a survey and history of villa architecture by Salmond, with plenty of period pictures. There are also photographs of old wallpapers, floorcoverings, and spreads of villa details such as front doors and the stained glass windows in verandahs. I've always lived in villas, apart from a quick detour to the 20th century in the form of an art deco house, and twice did a double take thinking two of the pictures of villa verandahs were of my childhood home. This book shows how similar yet how diverse villas can be. However, I was surprised to turn a few more pages and find a photo of some Wellington students happily drinking beer in the afternoon sun perched on the roof of my old flat in Mt Victoria.
The text is interesting but the book also be admired for all the lovely photography alone. You can have a look at it on the Library new books shelf until Thursday 5th November, when it will be available for borrowing.
Architecture and Planning Library