439 Papanui road in 1960 (left) and 2022 (right)

History of 439 Papanui Road and the architect behind it.

Margaret Staples Munro (Hamilton), a female Christchurch architect, created the Georgian-inspired brick house for Dr. Jane Druker in 1960. The house was designed to accommodate Dr. Druker, her brother, and her sister, with additional room for Dr. Druker’s patients. The house was sold for the first time in 1989 and most recently in 2022 by Whittle Knight’s Papanui office.

At the height of the Great Depression in 1931, Margaret received her training under renowned Canterbury architect Cecil Wood. Margaret left Cecil Wood’s office in 1946 and formed a partnership with Robert (Bob) Munro, as she was not registered and hence could not operate on her own. As a result, the firm was solely known as R. C. Munro until she was registered in 1960, following Bob’s death in 1959.

Due to the gender expectations placed on women to perform domestic duties, get married, and have children, there weren’t many female architects. Margaret took advantage of this by designing houses with details that male architects missed because they had little to no experience working in domestic settings. Margaret designed a number of houses in Christchurch and Canterbury. To know more about Margaret and the houses she designed, please have a read of “Margaret S. Munro, architect” by Mary-Jane Duffy.


Margaret S. Munro pictured above


*Information sourced from RPNZ.co.nz and “Margaret S. Munro, architect” by Mary-Jane Duffy.