B L U M E N T H A L H O U S E C O N S E R V A T I O N P L A N
The Blumenthal House is among the very best houses in the ‘International Modernist” style in New Zealand. It is one of very few New Zealand houses of any period to be published internationally.
The house is considered to be the best work of Vladimir Cacala. Cacala arrived in New Zealand from Czechoslovakia in 1952, and quickly established a reputation as an architect of the Bauhaus school. Vladimir Cacala was trained in modern architecture in a part of Europe that had embraced modernism before the war. He brought that knowledge and experience with him to New Zealand. His life and work demonstrates the huge cultural shifts of the 20th Century, and is a significant example of the cultural contribution made by European emigres to New Zealand society in the post war years.
The Blumenthals were also emigres to New Zealand. Their personal story connects New Zealand to the greater arc of 20th Century history, particularly the effects on Europe of the rise of Fascism, anti-semitism and the massive disturbances to populations and cultures caused by the Second World War. The arrival of the Blumenthals in New Zealand was a consequence of those events that has resulted in our country becoming a richer place thanks to their contribution to cultural life, including but certainly not limited to, the commissioning of this house.
The house is also an excellent example of building in the post war period. The house represents the changes that occurred in the Eastern suburbs of Auckland in the post war years, the rapid subdivision of what was farmland; the beginnings of the post war suburbs.