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Designer home still winning hearts

Tags: Residential

Tucked into the northern shores of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, an award-winning, architecturally-designed home blends the best elements in compact Kiwi living with expansive views of the Hauraki Gulf.


Located some 30 kilometres north of Auckland in Stanmore Bay, when current owners Anne and Neville Graham first laid eyes on the property in 2014 they were struck by its workable design, enduring quality and its stunning view out to the Gulf islands.

“We were instantly attracted to the home’s unique combination of design innovation and the compact footprint, which feels so much bigger with the full-length deck which opens the home to sprawling views of the bush and Hauraki Gulf,” Anne says.

Designed by David Maurice of award-winning firm LTD Architectural Design Studio, the home at 25C Duncansby Road will be auctioned by Bayleys Whangaparaoa on November 30.

“Inspired by the form of a floating Pohutukawa reaching over New Zealand’s coastal cliffs, the home at Duncansby Road was first nominated in the 2014 Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ)/Resene Architectural Awards in the category for residential property under 150 square metres,” says Bayleys Whangaparaoa salesperson Sue Donoghue.

“Winning the award for ‘People’s Choice’ in November 2014, the home has also been awarded the regional title before taking out the national award for residential property under 150 square metres – with the judges calling it small, simple and elegant,” she adds.

The sloping site measuring some 636 square metres created some challenges for Maurice – a managing partner of LTD Architectural Design Studio.

“We needed to overcome difficult ground conditions to create an elegant subfloor, which was ultimately achieved using a series of steel portals and cable-cross bracing which formed a rigid frame, infilled with structural timber framing.

“The home is really unique, suspended above the contour allowing sun and rain to reach beneath, in time vegetation will grow below and around the structure, re-stabilising the site and allowing good permeability,” Maurice adds.

“As home design becomes more ambitious, higher levels of skill and quality materials are necessary to create spaces which are functional, beautiful and enduring,” Sue says.

Purchasing the property from Donoghue in early 2014, the Graham’s spent three-and-a-half months with local landscapers to shape the surrounding site which was inspired by the idea that the home should float lightly amongst the native bush, maximising its spectacular elevated position.

“We worked closely with the landscapers to ensure that we gained comfortable and easy access to the entire site,” Neville says.

“We chose Purpleheart hardwood for vertical retaining walls, decks and risers with Limestone paths – both quality materials ensuring integrity and longevity of the landscaping.

"In time, native plants will grow up around the home creating the feeling of living in the treetops, while enjoying the ever-changing view out to Kawau Island and Great Barrier along to the tip of Coromandel” he adds.

“It’s simple, done exceptionally well – described by the ADNZ judges as sharp but modest, the home provides exceptional solar orientation to really soak up the best attributes of the site which provides the perfect lockup and leave home,” Sue says.

“Spanning a single level, the freehold home offers a generous three bedrooms, two bathrooms and double garaging with extra parking. The phenomenal full-length windows facing north-east towards the Gulf gives the very special vista of coastal Auckland.

“The best part though? There’s virtually no need for television. With an ever-changing show of nature outside, windows are like a private viewing of a nature documentary.

“And then there’s the sailing out in the Gulf, courtesy of the nearby Manly Sailing Club of which Sir Russell Coutts has recently become commodore.

“It’s been a sanctuary for our family with a short stroll down the path to the fishing rock below to go kayaking or fishing and beautiful Stanmore Bay beach which is a few minutes’ walk away,” Anne says.

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