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Bungalow Style

Bungalow style

The Bungalow was usually a single-storey house with a prominent verandah, especially with the roof covering the verandah.


The bungalow house originated in the sub-continent, and fused many ideas and thoughts about the nature of housing and life styles during the period from 1913 to 1927. It reached a zenith in both style and popularity during the 1920s and carried well beyond 1930. (Donald Johnson)

The Bungalow style originated in California USA, while its name is derived from 'bangla', a Hindu term for the style 'belonging to Bengal'. Our term 'verandah' is also derived from the Hindi 'varanda'. (Peter Cuffley)


Bungalow Characteristics
  1. A cottage, usually of one storey, often of four-square rooms, unless architecturally designed

  2. Having a sweeping low-pitched roof and low chimney(s)

  3. With a prominent verandah, or surrounded by a wide verandah, which at least extends along the width of the house

  4. Usually of timber construction, often with timber shingles

  5. The verandah columns are prominent, often on a stone or brick base

Bungalow Characteristics
Bungalow Style Arts and Crafts home in NSW
Ranch Bungalow
Bungalow, Palm Beach NSW

Bungalow at 11 Rogers Ave Haberfield.

Although only an L-shaped roof is visible, there is a mirror wing on the right as well, making it T-shaped. Notice the west-facing gable over the porch, defining it perfectly as an outdoor living space.

Bungalow Roofs

The 20th century bungalow was originally an 'Arts and Crafts' building, so it featured stone foundations and excellent interior woodwork and also the bungalow should sit naturally in its location. 

After two world wars, every modest house came to be called a bungalow, because it had a (cheaper) LOW roof.

(origin: Bangla(deshi) - low roof 'four-square' home).

Bungalow roofs are simple flattened A-frame roofs, usually with gables at each end and usually have a T-shape or L-shape in plan.

Above left is a wonderful example in Haberfield.

Bungalow Roofs
California Bungalow.jpg

Above: a typical California bungalow design with a low-pitched roof and wide, wide gables. One gable defines the verandah, a new living area not available in older homes.

Sydney houses 1914-1939 - Two California

Below: Three Australian bungalow designs using the simple "low" A-frame.

  1. Below left: Rectangular bungalow Purulia built in Warrawee in 1913 as his own home by Sydney architect William Hardy Wilson (1881-1955), with a hipped roof, its simplicity causing "consternation (to fill) the souls of neighbours (who were) dwelling in multi-angular villas". Heritage Listed

  2. Below: VIC State Bank Housing Scheme House Type no. 20, showing the bungalow roof with end gables and a cross-gable over the entrance.

  3. Below right: 'Highbury', an up-market A-frame bungalow design at 20 Martin Road, Centennial Park NSW 2021, the home of famous author Patrick White, built in 1913. Heritage Listed

Read more about Bungalow Roofs at the page: Federation Roofs

Gallery of Bungalow Styles
Purulia built in Warrawee in 1913 by Wil
VIC State Bank Housing Scheme House Type
Patrick White House 5001213b1.jpg
Craftsman Bungalow Logo

Gallery of Bungalow Styles

(From Wikipedia)

 The meaning of the word bungalow varies internationally.


Wikipedia mentions many bungalow styles, usually used in English speaking countries: India, Bangladesh, English, American, Californian, and Chicago style, to name a few.

The Definitive Bungalow Documentary
History of the bungalow
American Architects

 Origin of Bungalow style:

From the book Australian Architecture 1901-51: Sources of Modernism by  D. L.  Johnson

There are two physical aspects of the bungalow.

  • First, there is an English idea about the (rural) bungalow as being where at a small expense we may pass a quiet weekend ‘far from the madding crowd':

    • an affluent rural longing,

    • with the idea of escape,

    • used as recreation and

    • cheaply built.

  • Second, the bungalow style is similar to the Bengal origin, four rooms square with a verandah.

The idea of bungalow has many architectural influences.

  • The Bengal style has only architectonic and aesthetic interpretations.

  • By the late nineteenth century the bungalow was considered an acceptable form for permanent housing. Dissemination of the style to Australia was inevitable.

  • The first architectural book to illustrate the design potential of the bungalow was by R. A. Briggs, Bungalows and Country Residences, published in London in 1891.


Cottage and bungalow books—and many, many more—were readily available in Australia at the turn of the century.

  • In 1909 an indication of American interest was the publication of a magazine devoted to the small house called the Bungalow Magazine, which began in Los Angeles and later came out of Seattle and ran to 1918.

  • The inimitable magazine Craftsman out of New Jersey, a popular magazine devoted to crafts revival and cottage or bungalow design, was received in Australia, but in very limited numbers.

American Architects of the Bungalow era

Two groups of American architects took the idea of the bungalow and, blended with their own idiosyncrasies, created two distinct, yet obviously related styles in the bungalow genre.

1. Frank Lloyd Wright


Frank Lloyd Wright blended Japanese modes, those of the wooden New England Shingle Style, the stark simplicity of mid-west rural buildings, and the horizontal characteristics of the bungalow. The result was an architectural style now defined as the Prairie House.  (Read more: at Craftsman House)
The Prairie Houses were built almost entirely in the American mid-west— Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin—and by such architects as W. G. Purcell, George G. Elmslie, Dwight Perkins, William Drummon, Thomas Talmadge (who coined the term Chicago School and Walter Burley Griffin.


Some Bush Bungalows
Darwin D. Martin House
Frank Lloyd Wright
A Prairie Style home: the Allen House (Wichita)
Allen-Lambe House / 255 North Roosevelt Street, Wichita KS
Greene and Greene
2. The Greene Brothers of Southern California,


Charles S. and Henry M. Greene, present another idea of the bungalow.
Directly influenced by both Wright and the details of traditional Japanese architecture, they created a singular style.
The D. B. Gamble house, Pasadena, California of 1908 showed the debt to Wright more clearly than later buildings in not only detail, but formal elevational characteristics and massing.
The Greenes were seen not only in the two architectural journals but in magazines such as House Beautiful and House and Garden.

Read more about the Gamble "ultimate bungalow" on page Federation Roofs

Gamble House Pasadena
Gamble House Pasadena
Australian Architects
Aussie War Service House
Horsley Homestead
Hindfell, 11A Lucinda Ave Wahroonga - State Library NSW
John Horbury Hunt
E. Jeafferson Jackson
Piddington Grange, Mt Victoria

Australian Architects of the Bungalow era

The developer Richard Stanton first introduced the American style bungalow to Sydney in 1906 and by 1912 this new type of compact servantless house was being erected across Sydney by speculative builders.

 - See Haberfield, the Garden Suburb

  • The influence of the carefully crafted Californian Bungalows can be seen in the work of architects who had worked and travelled in America, particularly Alexander Stuart Jolly and James Peddle.

  • The more geometric Chicago Style was introduced to Sydney by the Burley Griffins.

  • In country towns a different palette of materials were used, timber or timber combined with fibrous cement sheeting.

  • By the 1930s the popularity of the bungalow was declining." Scott Robertson, HHT 2012 talk


Left: Elizabeth Farm (1793–1823) at Parramatta and the Nicholas Weston house of 1820 at Horsley, New South Wales were bungalows: so too many others of the mid-1880s.

John Horbury Hunt

In considering contemporary ideas of a bungalow's purpose and form, the first to be built in Australia was the Piddington Bungalow at Mount Victoria in 1876,designed by John Horbury Hunt. It was one of the most straightforward of Hunt's residential work. It was a long, low-profiled house in the best tradition of the bungalow.

Houses titled by their authors as bungalows were more often than not a modified or simplified Queen Anne or American Shingle Style which was based on the English forerunner.

  • The need to give the title 'bungalow', even if erroneous, again demonstrates the growing desirability of the type of lifestyle it evoked.

E. Jeafferson Jackson

Probably the first to recall the Horbury Hunt Shingle Style was the Henry Gullett house, Wahroonga, New South Wales, by E. Jeafferson Jackson.

  • Henry Gullett (1837-1914) retired as editor of the Sydney Morning Herald in 1899 and travelled to England.

  • On his return, he commissioned this house from architect E. Jeaffreson Jackson. Though built as a retirement home, Gullett was coaxed out of retirement to edit the Daily Telegraph from 1901 to 1903. 

The design of the house, with its shingling, arches and prominent bracketed oriel window under a large jettying gable was very influential.

  • An almost identical design was used some years later by builder William Richards for “Mounteray”, in Burwood Road, Burwood, as part of George Hoskins’ Appian Way subdivision (pictured below).​​

P. Oakden and C.H. Ballantyne
James Peddle
P. Oakden and C.H. Ballantyne

Two bungalows by the Melbourne architects P. Oakden and C.H. Ballantyne in 1908 provide the introduction of the twentieth-century bungalow to Australia.

  • The first was a one-storey house with a rather jumbled plan. The exteriors, however, were very good.

  • The second bungalow, for Harry Martin in Toorak, was one of the best examples of a consciously designed Australian bungalow of any period. 

    • It was two storeys and the floor plans were simple and direct.

    • There was a modest entry to a hall which connected all rooms, an inglenook, a spatially open drawing and living room, and up the stairs were three bedrooms and an open upper porch or sleep-out.

Oakden & Ballantyne Harry Martin house,

James Peddle

The most frequent bungalow style was the more familiar (and popular in years to follow) Pasadena form of the Greene brothers and architect James Peddle became one of its advocates.

  • Peddle was attracted to the bungalow in mid-career.

  • To understand more fully the style and due in part to a slump in commissions, he set out for the comforts of Southern California in 1911.

  • He settled in the founding home of one bungalow style, Pasadena, where he set up a practice. The area was also the location of some of the best of architects Greene and Greene houses and the worst of the builders' commercialized versions.

Kenneth Milne
S. Toms house in Marryatville
Belvedere 7 Cranbrook Avenue, Cremorne, NSW 2090, designed by Alexander Stuart Jolly
Coppins, 23-29 Telegraph Road), Pymble, NSW
Bidura House, Bowral
Alexander Stewart Jolly
Walter Burley Griffin
Kenneth Milne

Another early advocate of the bungalow was Kenneth Milne.

  • The Adelaide architect produced a large number of bungalow styles and near bungalows in the years just before and during World War I.

  • In 1906 the S. Toms house in Marryatville was completed to a design carefully blending both Voysey and the bungalow.

  • The Mrs J. Lee residence of a year later in Thorngate had a heavy rubble wall surrounding a linear plan, all surmounted by a large, high roof in tile. 

  • Unique among the endeavours to create homes based on the types of bungalow was the Fairbridge Home in Perth of about 1926.

Alexander Stewart Jolly

One who was inspired by the ideas of the bungalow through both Wright and Griffin was Alexander Stewart Jolly. 

  • The house most often referred to was Belvedere, built in 1919 for Mr F. C. Stephens at Cremorne, New South Wales, where the low profile and heavy eave line of the entry porch, as well as the bulky pylons massed about the central portion of the main body of the house indicate the more obvious elements drawn from Griffin, while the whole was of the prairie style in character.


Walter Burley Griffin

​The first Australian architect to recognize the individuality of this southern continent and its new society and in the same instant, exhibit a clarity of method and style was Walter Burley Griffin.

  • He devised a singular style before he came to Australia and that style evolved and changed because his methodology was universal, and therefore it was adaptable to Australian conditions


​In Australia the Griffins built a small house in Heidelberg, south of Melbourne.

  • It was the first house built using Griffin's newly devised Knitlock construction system. They called their diminutive home ‘Pholiota’

  • The fully open 1919 plan was directly influenced by the theoretical pure bungalow, as was the massing. Elevations were simple and unaffected.


In 1921 they moved out of their Pholiota, away from the melodrama of Federal political corridors and to the Sydney north shore: to Castlecrag. 

  • Castlecrag was probably purchased in 1919. The final subdivision plans were completed in 1920–1. 

  • The first house was Griffin's in 1921–2 and if we discount Pholiota, it was the first statement of an architecture inspired and derived by Australia.

Other Aussie Architects

Edwin R. Orchard built a number of bungalows in the Sydney area and most indicate a gentle blend.

  • The Claude Terry house of c. 1920 in Bowral, New South Wales, was a very good example, while most of his earlier designs show an uneasy quality.

  • It may be that those of about 1914 were his first attempts at bungalow design. He was more inclined to modified Tudor or half-timber schemes around this period and for his own residence he used the schemes now associated with Hunt, Jackson and Waterhouse. 


An interesting design of 1915 showed a knowledge of the better part of bungalow planning. Donald Esplin's design for a residence in Northbridge, New South Wales, was determined by placing a billiard room in the centre, and about the periphery of the central room a series of verandahs and rooms. Restrained elevations were composed of shallow gable roofs and rather simple massing.

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