The bungalow can be a small thatched house by the water and a city cottage for permanent residence. Let’s figure out why bungalows are so different.
Reminiscent of modern bungalows appeared during the colonial rule of England in Southeast Asia. The prototype of the style was the huts of the Bengalis, which European settlers modified “for themselves”. Over time, bungalows have changed a lot and at the beginning of the twentieth century conquered America. Today, there are a dozen different styles of bungalows, they are popular both in private housing construction and in the hotel business.
What is a bungalow?
A bungalow is a small one-story building, sometimes with an attic, for a comfortable stay of one family. Contrary to popular belief, a bungalow does not always look like a thatched house. There are various variations – from compact lightweight huts to luxury villas and cottages in urban areas.
The birthplace of the bungalow is Bengal, an Asian region that is now divided between India and Bangladesh. As housing for the British military, merchants, and diplomats came to India, the engineers and architects of that time began to build semblances of traditional huts of the natives, known as the bangla. Light buildings with thatched roofs were improved in a European manner and adapted for permanent residence, making the capital.
Early bungalows were built of brick or stone, in a simple style, with no frills. In the center of the house, there was a hall with several rooms on each side. The roof was four-pitched or flat with a slope, a wide veranda was erected in front of the entrance to the bungalow. Gradually, the new format of housing took root on other continents, and the bungalows themselves became more spacious and refined – in the décor of the façade, for example, columns, stucco moldings, and carved cornices appeared.
The peak of the popularity of bungalows in private housing construction in Europe and the United States occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century. Regional features have given rise to numerous variations – Chicago, California, or English bungalows. Interesting fact: bungalows can be considered the forerunners of modern prefabricated houses. In the 1930s, some companies offered special kits in which everything necessary for construction was sent to the customer and assembled on-site.
What does a bungalow look like?
The classic bungalow looks like a compact cottage-type house with a large veranda. Depending on the region and style, the bungalow can have a one-and-a-half, second floor, or attic. Here are the six main characteristics of the bungalow:
- Low floor. The classic bungalow is one story, but various variations are allowed. To illuminate the upper level of the roof, dormer windows are located that extend beyond its plane. The roof of the bungalow is usually two- or four-pitched;
- Horizontal architecture. Initially, bungalows were compact and cozy single-family homes. However, this is not a prerequisite. The bungalow can be spacious, its area on the ground is always greater than the height. Thus, the bungalow is outwardly low and elongated;
- Open floor plan. A distinctive feature of the bungalow is an open plan. The bedroom, kitchen and resting place in the original version constituted a single space. Separate rooms, for example, several rooms with partitions, are arranged as if in a circle with entrances from the central hall;
- Large windows. Since the bungalow is an example of southern architecture, natural sunlight was mainly used for lighting. Large windows were used for this. It is common to see two windows on the main façade on either side of the entrance;
- Spacious veranda. Almost all bungalows have wide verandas and terraces in front of the entrance. Their purpose is obvious – there you can take refuge in the shade or relax during the rainy season;
- natural materials. During the construction of bungalows, preference is given to natural materials. Inside and outside bungalows, wood, stone, and brick are often used to create a warm and subdued atmosphere, but the usual thatched roof is not used everywhere.
Types of bungalows
There are two main stylistic blocks of bungalows, says Maxim Dolgov. Conventionally, they can be divided into two styles: Southeast Asia and European. “Moreover, if in Asia bungalows are mainly buildings of the colonial era, then in Europe they are small single-family houses,” the expert notes.
There are also style differences in different regions. American bungalows can be in Detroit, Chicago, or California style, European – in German, English or Irish. Separately, those that can be classified by location stand out, that is, a house on poles, above water, or on the beach.
They are lightweight, spacious, or compact houses on beaches near or above water. These are practical buildings for relaxation, which have all the main rooms: bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and terrace. Additionally, the space near the beach bungalow can be equipped with a barbecue area or a swimming pool.
The missionary-style bungalows feature wide overhanging cornices with exposed wooden rafters. Their exterior clearly shows the Spanish influence: smooth stucco and terracotta tiled roofs.
These bungalow houses were designed to be placed on narrow urban plots. Therefore, Chicago bungalows tend to be longer than wide. They were built of brick, and the main distinguishing features of this style are the presence of a basement and a street entrance with steps.
The bungalow in the style of the Tudor era is more refined and has a number of interesting architectural features. The most striking of these are the elaborate chimneys, the intricate design around the windows and doorways, and the tall and narrow half-timbered windows.
Cape Cod Bungalow
It is a perfectly symmetrical one-story building with a low gabled roof. These are simple houses in design, which have almost no décor elements on the façade. Distinctive features of the Cape Cod bungalow are window shutters and a wooden front door.
Usually, these were one- or one-and-a-half-story houses with a pediment supported by tapering pylons. Such houses were built of wood, with a tiled roof, and a brick or stone chimney. There is usually a covered veranda in front of the entrance. The interior layout included a small kitchen, a common area, and bedrooms. Sometimes the kitchen and the hall were combined.
What is a bungalow in a hotel?
Bungalows in the hotel are an alternative to a standard room. In terms of convenience, they are usually equivalent. The bungalow has everything you need: electricity, beds and a bathroom. The number of guests in the bungalow also varies from two people to the whole family.
Most often, rest-in bungalows offer resorts by the sea or on the ocean coast. Such houses can be located away from the main hotel buildings next to the water or directly above it. The style is different – from small thatched huts to modern buildings. Bungalows can also be found in eco-hotels and glamping.
“Bungalows are almost always more expensive than standard hotel rooms, as they have a large area, a private terrace, or additional amenities: swimming pool, jacuzzi, beach access. This all increases the cost,” says Alexander Tertychny, founder and CEO of the Green Flow healing project.
As for amenities, there are completely different options, the expert notes. From the complete lack of communication to a level above many hotels. In some projects, he said, the area of the bungalow reaches hundreds of square meters and even more.
Bungalow as a residential building
The desire to acquire a bungalow often arises after a vacation at sea, so small houses regularly appear near water bodies. The style and design of bungalows can vary greatly depending on personal preference, making them versatile in architecture and design. According to expert Maxim Dolgov, you can choose one of two ways:
- Traditional bungalow. The house has a wooden exterior, and a large veranda, with characteristic wooden beams and awnings;
- Modern bungalow. A classic project is carried out in a minimalist design, with large glass facades and in pure white.
Pros of bungalows
- Easy to maintain. The bungalows are small and easy to maintain, so they make a great home for the elderly or people with disabilities, for example.
- Economical. Heating and cooling costs tend to be less, as there are few enclosed spaces in the house and only one floor.
- Eco-friendly. In construction and decoration, preference is given to natural and environmentally friendly materials, which is good in itself.
Cons of bungalows
- Insufficient separation of rooms. An open floor plan and a minimum number of closed rooms are not suitable for everyone.
- Size can be an issue. Homeowners who plan to expand their family may need more space than a typical bungalow can provide.
- Obliges to style. When building a bungalow house in a summer cottage, you will have to carefully consider the design of all other buildings. A colonial bungalow will not go well with a Russian bath.
Do-it-yourself bungalows: nuances
Like any other type of house, you can build a bungalow yourself. There are no restrictions in this regard, but the established standards for construction will still have to be observed, says Anna Sharkunova, an expert in interior design, and head of the East-West studio. Everything else is a matter of taste. For example, for the natural zone of the middle lane, a wooden building of darker colors is perfect, the expert advises. Here are a few more tips that, according to the architect, should be taken into account when building a bungalow.
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