Sir John Key’s flash new pad
Architect’s design for tight site next to old home offers luxury living on three levels
It could be game, set and match to former Prime Minister Sir John Key.
In September the Weekend Herald reported that the Key family had sold their St Stephens Ave mansion, but were planning to keep a tennis court on the big site for a future development.
This week the Herald obtained plans for the site — submitted by Ken Whitney, once described as Sir John’s lawyer — which reveal a new light- filled home on what is now the tennis court beside the family’s Parnell home.
The plans show a spacious 225sq m house designed by Sumich Chaplin Architects on a relatively tight 588sq m site facing tree- lined St Stephens Ave. It will be three levels high with a swimming pool, subterranean garage, lift to its three levels and even an underground vehicle turntable, according to plans lodged with Auckland Council.
The council granted subdivision consent in April and approved the detailed architectural plans from Whitney’s Antipodes Trust Group in July. Both applications were nonnotified, meaning the public were not informed, as the rules allow.
Guests will walk through a formal garden enclosure, past the in- ground pool and outdoor dining area, to enter the ground floor reception.
To one side, they will move into the large kitchen area while to the other side they will be in a relaxed family dining/ lounge zone, all spaciously laid out, with floor- toceiling windows flanking these areas for maximum sunlight.
Floor- to- ceiling joinery allows rooms to open to outdoor dining, entertaining and pool areas.
The house has a lift, situated between the ground- floor guest bedroom with ensuite and a study with a desk and four- seater boardroom- style table, overlooking the garden. A more formal separate lounge alongside looks out on to the garden, a formal fireplace its centrepiece.
Upstairs off the landing i s the master bedroom with a walk- in wardrobe/ dressing room and extensive storage, entered before reaching the ensuite bathroom. A second bedroom on that level also has its own ensuite.
Elevations show two chimneys, hedges for privacy and a driveway gradient of 1: 5, relatively steep access to the underground garaging.
An in- ground car turntable means vehicles will not have the hazard of backing out of the basement. Instead, they will be moved in the tight spot on a special turntable and drive out forwards.
That basement also has its own gym, storage areas, internal stairs and access to the lift so getting the groceries up from the car won’t be a hassle.
The basement also has a large underground room labelled “theatre”.
Whitney said he was unable to comment to the Herald yesterday.
On September 9, the Herald reported how Sir John and Lady Bronagh had sold their family home in the last two months for an estimated $ 20m but “retained roughly a 650sq m slice — currently a tennis/ basketball court — for a future home.”
When Sir John retired as Prime Minister, he said he would trade his Parnell mansion in for a smaller place.
The tennis court site beside the Parnell house which was home to former Prime Minister Sir John Key, his wife Lady Bronagh and family.