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Home & Building, Volume 12 Number 6 (June-July 1950)

Our Readers Say—

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Our Readers Say—

In forwarding a subscription, V.W., of Brisbane writes:

"I recently acquired a copy of your June issue of Home & Building and was impressed with the variety and quality of material therein. As a result. Yours faithfully, V.W."

Thank you, V.W., both variety and quality of editorial material occupy a good deal of our thought and it is good to know when our efforts are rewarded with readers' satisfaction.

Mrs. A.M., of Lower Hutt, writes:

"Back copies of your magazine have been lent to us and we find them most interesting reading as well as being a constant reminder of what is good design in living. Yours faithfully (Mrs.) A.M."

We like your phrase "good design in living," Mrs. A.M. It really embodies one of the main editorial objects of Home & Building.

From Mrs. C.C., of Dannevirke, an enquiry reads:

"In a 1946 issue of "Home Journal" I noticed an advertisement of yours offering four issues for 3/- of your Home & Building. Is this still available? And do you draw up plans on application? I enclose a stamped addressed envelope, awaiting your reply. Yours sincerely (Mrs.) C.C."

Since the publication of the advertisement which you mention, Mrs. C.C, Home & Building has been both enlarged and increased in frequency. Subscription rates are now 6/- per year or 10/- for two years. Replying to your second question, we do not ourselves prepare plans but are always happy to put readers in touch with a registered architect. Our experience is that by far the best, and in the long run the most economical, solution to any particular family's housing problem results from individual study and planning by a registered architect who is able to inspect the proposed site and meet the family concerned.

D.L., of Palmerston North, seeks information about a book reviewed recently:

"Through what source can I obtain "Decorative Art", edited by Rathbone Holme and Kathleen M. Frost, 1943–48, the Studio Publications, London and New York. This publication was mentioned in Home & Building, Feb.-Mar., 1949. Yours faithfully, D.L."

We have made enquiries, D.L., and are now glad to be able to advise you that "Decorative Art" and other Studio publications can be obtained from Messrs. H. Barnes & Co., 4 Boulcott Terrace, Wellington. The same applies to the works published by Alec Tiranti Ltd., which also are often reviewed in Home & Building.

R.W., of Wellington, enquires regarding a plan published in a past issue:

"… In the issue of June-July, 1949, appeared a description of a home designed by Mr. T. F. Haughey (pp. 18–21). As no details of measurements are given the writer is interested to know whether these are available … Yours faithfully, R.W."

We're afraid, R.W., that in this case we cannot help you very much. When plans are published in Home & Building it is with the intention of showing generally how architects are working to solve modern housing problems

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and to help readers to understand the photographs which we publish. To include dimensions, etc., on sketches would give them the nature of working drawings but, as we have pointed out previously, working drawings for one particular site and client are practically never satisfactory it applied to a totally different site and set of requirements. We endeavour, by publishing sketch plans and photographs, to show the individualised, efficient house which a registered architect produces, in contrast with so many which are, unfortunately, awkward, ordinary and uninteresting: We aim also to stimulate readers to collect their ideas, ready to take along to their architect when their own turn comes to build.

A letter from Mrs. A.S., of Auckland, mentions a problem which many people experience when they set out to build new homes:

"… I always enjoy your journal and am sure it must be a great help to many. We hope to retire from our business (apartments) and would love to be able to build a nice home somewhere but the suitable site will be the difficulty but we may be lucky. Wishing you every success. Yours sincerely (Mrs.) A.S."

It is certainly not as easy to find a good building site in Auckland or any large city, as it was in the early years of development. However, this is in the very nature of things and in some ways the position will become worse as our cities age. On the other hand, the very fact that a city has matured sufficiently to have a recognisable pattern of land use and type of development does make selection easier for present-day builders. Modern town planning will assist those who purchase land to-day for a particular purpose, by helping to ensure' that it does not in the future become unsuitable for that purpose by bad neighbourhood development. After all, many people built houses in choice positions when our cities were young but now find themselves surrounded by industrial buildings or decadent houses and are obliged to move and build all over again. Development of our cities according to sound planning principles will result in good new housing areas becoming available in the future. Admittedly the position has been difficult in recent years for a variety of reasons. The relaxation of Land Sales restrictions, which had been advocated by Home & Building, should give some immediate relief. So also will improved transport. You mention, Mrs. A.S., that you have reached the stage of retirement. Have you thought of building on a good road say ten or fifteen miles from the city? It might offer advantages, in the way of wider choice, health, outdoor relaxation and beautiful surroundings, which could not be found in the city itself. Another opportunity is where some large old garden is being cut up. In such cases sites can often be secured with well-grown trees and shrubs. The old prejudice against right-of-way sections is dying down as more buyers realise the advantages in privacy and aspect which they often afford.

A new thought comes from J.R., of Christchurch:

"My subscription to Home & Building ran out in September last, and I enclose a cheque for 10/6 to renew my subscription. The last copy which I received was the October-November issue and if you have any back numbers available I shall be glad if you will kindly send copies to fill the gap between that number and the current one, because I'd rather miss a meal than miss a copy of Home & Building. Yours faithfully, J.R."

Well, J.R., the production of Home & Building has often caused us to miss both meals and sleep, to neglect wife, home and family, to become thin in the hair and thick in the waistline—but this is the first time we've heard of our readers being similarly affected! We'll send you a hamburger with the next issue.

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