1930’s Aberdeen

Posted in housing

I was looking through some old maps of Aberdeen from the 1920’s and it struck me just how little development there had been to the western edges of the city and just how much expansion there must have been in the decade immediately before the war.

My own house was built in 1932 along with most of the suburbs to the west of Anderson drive and the same style of ranch house can be seen in other areas. The houses built at this time are the equivalent of green field developer housing we see continuing the expansion of the city now. The 1928 OS data shows nothing but fields around this area, with the occassional steading. The names of the farms and fields later to be taken by streets and avenues; Seafield, Viewfield, Springfield.

The interesting thing about the houses built in the 30’s is that they are so surprisingly spacious while being compact. Our own house has a built in bed in the wee room which neatly corresponds with a boxed out bulkhead in the living room. The passage running to the kitchen has a little slopey bit of ceiling where the stairs pass overhead.

My point is that regardless of the compromises that were made to keep cost down (and after cracking my head on the slopey ceiling a few times, I’m well aware of those cut corners) the house has character. The spaces aren’t massive compared to modern standards but they are more than adequate.

The ingenious quirkiness of the spaces is what gives these houses their character. This is something that we strive for, using our clients budgets intelligently sometimes demands quirky thinking and we’re not ashamed of making unconventional choices in order to create interesting spaces.