Herald on Sunday

BLACK MAGIC IN ST HELIERS

All you need is a private chef and you never have to leave this home dubbed Black Magic by its current owners, writes ERIN REILLY

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14 Auckland Road 5 4 2

When Michael Black moved to the big smoke in 1980, he immediatel­y fell in love with St Heliers.

The law student and ‘Hobbit from Matamata’ moved into a small apartment on Auckland Road, right in the heart of what’s now one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs.

In 1984, he bought a piece of land further down the road. Thirty seven years on, he’s still on Auckland Road and loving it just as much as he did then.

“Back then, St Heliers was largely undevelope­d. It was so close to the beach, to wide open spaces, and I just knew it would be the kind of place that I could settle down in and never want to leave.”

In 1994, Michael and his wife Paula built the first rendition of 14 Auckland Road. The brief to architect Wayne Houston was to maximise both the views and the site.

In the last year, the home has seen a total transforma­tion. Michael and Paula reclad the house in charcoal Nu-Wall aluminium cladding, creating a home that looks like a sculpture.

“Because it’s virtually black and our surname is Black, we call the house Black Magic,” says Michael.

“And it really is magic. Architectu­rally it looks like a stealth bomber with a nautical look. It’s really exotic.”

The roof deck atop the third storey has uninterrup­ted views through glass balustrade­s, across the Vellenowet­h Green and out to Rangitoto Island.

“I used to like launching fireworks from the roof deck throughout the year – childish, I know!” laughs Michael.

“There’s fake grass up there which feels like you’re walking on carpet. We have hosted many parties up there and the space would make for a great mini golf course or outdoor yoga studio too.”

Inside is a unique mix of curves, angles, and stairways, which “makes it a great house to play hide-and-seek in”. Plans are available to add a lift to the property, making it easier to get between floors.

While the home looks like something from the pages of a high-end architectu­re magazine, it would look equally comfortabl­e on the pages of a travel brochure.

“There’s a pool, spa and dry sauna outside, spa, steam room and gym inside, and the beach is about 150 metres away. All you need is a private chef and you’d never have to leave!”

Ray White agent Ricky Cave, who is marketing the property, says 14 Auckland Road is special because of the plethora of opportunit­ies it offers.

“This house is really two houses in one,” Cave says.

“You could treat the top two floors and roof deck as a highspec apartment, then have three teenagers, extended family or an au pair down on the ground floor, and you’d never know they were there.”

Sale: Priced at $5,250,000 Contact: Ricky Cave, Ray White, 027 222 5419; Jayne Kiely, 021 352 007

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