A Menlo Park bungalow
Project scope: New two-bedroom, two-bath, 900-square foot bungalow cottage
Construction completed: Winter 2008
Location: Menlo Park, California
“We'll build a bungalow big enough for two
Big enough for two, my honey, big enough for two,
And when we're married, how happy we will be
Underneath the bamboo, underneath the bamboo tree”
The bamboo tree aside, these old lyrics sum up the timeless domestic charm of the bungalow.
Built at the back of a lot shared with another building, this rental cottage needed to be compact yet capacious enough to accommodate a single professional, a couple, or even a small family. And it needed the homey charm of the early twentieth century bungalow to attract the ideal tenant.
As the bungalow in part came into being as an economical and space-savvy style—one of the reasons it became the home of choice in the 1930s—it was the ideal model to meet both the needs of the client and the spatial restrictions of the lot. Practical requirements accounted for, it’s the bungalow’s decorative qualities that mark it in our cultural mind’s eye as a style iconic of “home”: generous front porches, exaggerated structural elements: heavy posts, exposed beams, bands, brackets, and corbels; natural materials throughout—wood, plaster, shingles--and all at a human scale.