What Is a Bungalow?
The term is first found in English from 1696, where it was used to describe “bungales or hovells” in India for English sailors of the East India Company, which do not sound like very grand lodgings.
Later it became used for the spacious homes or official lodgings of officials of the British Raj, and was so known in Britain and later America, where it initially had high status and exotic connotations, and began to be used in the late 19th century for large country or suburban houses built in an Arts and Crafts or other Western vernacular style – essentially as large cottages, a term also sometimes used.
The term “Bungalow” originated from Bengal, and comes from a native hut called a bangala. The British transformed the traditional huts into grand single-story homes that were used to house British army officers and colonial administrators. Since land was not a problem, the bungalows were built in separate compounds and were spacious and well ventilated with a verandah running all the way around.
Bungalows are very convenient for the homeowner in that all living areas are on a single story and there are no stairs between living areas. A bungalow is well suited to persons with impaired mobility, such as the elderly or those in wheelchairs.
In Australia, the California bungalow was popular after the First World War. In North America and the United Kingdom a bungalow today is a residential building, normally detached, may contain small loft, which is either single-story or has a second story built into a sloping roof, usually with dormer windows (one-and-a-half stories). Some portable classrooms are called bungalows.