Weekend Herald

A DE­SIGN FOR LIFE

It’s what lies be­hind the veil that is the real trea­sure of this unique house, writes, writes ROBYN WELSH

- Interior Design · New Zealand · Auckland Region · New Zealand Institute of Architects · Royal Society of New Zealand · Stan

Some homes are short- lived at­ten­tion- seek­ers while oth­ers de­light in hid­ing their mys­tique. Then there are those, such as this one, that keep invit­ing cu­rios­ity.

Built in 2006, this home’s emerg­ing form in­vited cu­rios­ity for the de­sign award- win­ning ar­chi­tects Pete Boss­ley and An­drea Bell had in mind for this tight, clifftop site. Two years later, their re­sponses earned this house a fi­nal­ist slot in the 2008 Home of the Year awards. In

2010 it won the New Zealand In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects Auck­land de­sign award.

Ten years on, this land­mark home still at­tracts sight­seers in­trigued by its an­gu­lar, soar­ing form on its cor­ner site. Al­most daily, they’ll leap out of their cars and start tak­ing photos, un­til they re­alise they’ve been spot­ted.

But far from an­noy­ing the cur­rent own­ers, they are de­lighted. They’ll even duck into the shad­ows. “Rather than em­bar­rass them,” says Stan, who is flat­tered by it all.

He and his wife came here in

2012, look­ing for “some­thing unique, some­thing spe­cial,” he says. They found it past gabion street- front walls and be­yond the dra­matic, stag­gered tim­ber

“We wake up here and feel as if we are float­ing be­cause we can’t see the land.”

fa­cade that lets slip the nat­u­ral light within, with­out yield­ing a clue as to the grand­stand views be­yond.

“It of­fers some of the best views of the gulf,” says Steen Neilsen of Ray White.

In a 2008 Home magazine ar­ti­cle, ar­chi­tect An­drea Bell de­scribed the stand- out fa­cade as be­ing “like a veil”. Its trans­par­ent and sculp­tural form fil­ters the late af­ter­noon sun, al­low­ing it to dance across the walls and floors.

In­side, soft grey walls high­light the tex­tu­ral con­crete block perime­ter walls. These neu­tral in­te­rior walls and the tex­ture of the stain­less bench in the tim­ber kitchen fade away to noth­ing in favour of the views from the rear din­ing area.

A large out­door din­ing area takes in a slice of those views. Di­rectly off the lounge, its shel­tered out­door coun­ter­part takes in the panorama. For close- ups, there is a deck at the lawn edge, op­po­site the cliff- top path down to the water.

Up­stairs, be­yond the mi­dlevel me­dia/ games room, there is an­other per­spec­tive on Auck­land’s dis­tant gulf is­lands. From the master be­d­room with its own lounge, li­brary and study, there’s the feel­ing of be­ing above it all. “We wake up here and feel as if we are float­ing be­cause we can’t see the land,” says Stan.

The two top- floor guest bed­rooms boast that same vibe. Not to be out­done, the ground floor be­d­room wel­comes the morn­ing sun across the lawn. Even the ad­ja­cent bath­room, one of three re­splen­dent in dark red mo­saic tiles, has a sea view through an eye- level win­dow in the shower.

These own­ers have had their cu­rios­ity wholly sat­is­fied. Now they’re cu­ri­ous about what else will pique their in­ter­est. Auc­tion: Oc­to­ber 21

Con­tact: Steen Neilsen, Ray White, 027 557 8336; Lo­gan Swann, 021 220 5401

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