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The history of row houses: Decoded

Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019

For most 90s kids, their first tryst with row houses would have to be through the popular TV show ‘Full House’. Remember that iconic opening sequence where the camera opens to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco before it pans to the city’s structure and domestic living? Similar in design and architecture, the scores of white houses were particularly highlighted showcasing life in San Francisco. A real estate concept that flitted in and out of the scene is now considered to be a more economical and viable option, preferred by those driven by cost-cutting solutions and easy living.

What is a row house?

The concept of a row house is quite self-explanatory. They are several low-rise houses bound by a common sidewall. With the same structure and aesthetic, row houses have always been pegged to be somewhere between a luxurious bungalow and an economical apartment. Read on to know more about this fascinating community’s architectural history.

Trailing the origin of row houses

A row house, in some areas, is also called a terraced house. These types of houses were first constructed in Europe dating back to the 16th century. It was a commonly adopted housing structure in England, Wales, Australia, North America, and Latin America. While the whole world functioned in standalone villas, mansions and other detached houses, row houses or terraced houses emerged as a crucial part of gentrification. 

However, one of the oldest examples of row house structure is the popular ‘Place des Vosges’ in Paris, France, which was built in 1605. Translating to ‘Places of Vosges’, this structure was more luxurious than economical, structured in such a way that it catered to the crème de la crème of the society. Fashionable with similar paints and architectural designs, ‘Places des Vosges’ set the benchmark high in terms of real estate development and city planning in Paris, particularly catering to the noblemen and women. 

Row houses around the world

Over the centuries, particularly during the Industrial Age, this housing structure began catering to the working class as it was cheaper to live in, smaller in size and did not involve a lot of maintenance. 

Comparing row houses from a century ago, these housing structures are considered to be a class apart, now bearing both low cost and the environment in mind. It is no longer associated with the working class alone.

Around the world, communities come together and have weekly get-togethers and events inviting residences of other row houses to bite into the fun. New couples who wish to start a family move into row houses as it’s not just convenient but the sense of community makes them feel safe. Around the world, row houses have been made into duplexes or triplexes, based on the buyer’s needs. 

When did row houses come to India?

Out of all the types of houses, rowhouses took its time to enter the Indian market. In the pre-British Raj era, India was mostly made up of bungalows and small villas that housed a family or two. The concept of apartments or co-living wasn’t the norm back then. Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, the man behind Chandigarh’s planned city status, introduced the concept of row houses in the country. The surge in population and cost of living, however, led to the rise of vertically tall apartments and houses. Over the decades, India is now known to construct massive skyscrapers and high-rise apartments similar in structure, mostly found in the urban areas. 

Row houses are now being branded as something luxurious yet affordable. Here are a few reasons why row houses in India are picking up speed for the right reasons:

  • Economical:

Row houses in India are more than just separate-yet-similar-in-structure homes, they are a mark of urbanization that cuts cost and promotes better living. In this fast-paced world, it’s difficult to devote ample time to focus on the upkeep and maintenance of your house. A row house, however, takes lesser time and is relatively cheaper to work on. They are also compact houses that cater to your necessities. 

  • Community living:

Row houses promote a sense of togetherness via its community-living structure. You have neighbours all around, with all of you sharing its amenities equally. With the inclusion of recreational sports in the vicinity, the community comes together for various social gatherings.

  • Sustainable:

Row houses are a sustainable option. Its sustainability acts as a catalyst for expanding social and economic opportunities which, in turn, improves the quality of life. With the population increasing, row houses ensure the effective use of land and are convenient for buyers and developers.

  • All are welcome:

Apart from promoting a sense of community living, row houses cater to all kinds of families. A joint family, a typical nuclear family, or an old couple who have visitors dropping by often, row houses are for all and are particularly made affordable bearing families in mind. With the advent of time and the need for a home that’s both convenient and luxurious, Assetz has hopped on the rowhouse bandwagon and brings you three premium projects each situated in burgeoning localities across Bangalore. Live a life of ease and comfort with Assetz Property Group.

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