New Zealand Back to Real Estate News Homepage to RSS for this country

NZ Property News

NZ Dynamic spaces unfold

Property Here - Saturday, July 13, 2013

Share to:

Some people go to great lengths to create an authentic home, as builder Dave O'Brien did here six years ago.

Others discover such authenticity right under their noses, as the present owners Alan and Gill Gilder did when they arrived for a holiday at a Phuket resort in Thailand.

"Every view looked out to the pool as it does here. The pool was exactly the same, the bathroom was exactly the same with the same marble," Alan recalls.

Rather than wonder why they'd bothered going on holiday, Alan and Gill just laughed it off. For both of them, it was proof - not that they needed it - that their Auckland home was every bit the tropical gem that made it such an irresistible purchase a year after it was built.

Even now, coming back to this home is always guaranteed to have Alan and Gill and their sons, Keegan (17) and Lochlan (14), all feeling as if they've just arrived on holiday.

"When you live in any house you tend to take it for granted but when we arrived back here after being away then we realised that it is a really special home," explains Alan.

Part of its appeal is its secluded rear location. For architect Geoff Ward, that seclusion was part of the challenge. "The challenge was to break up the form of the house so that it reads like a pavilion but is still in keeping with the relative confines of an inner-city site, where you need to create a view within the site."

Built on an east-west axis, the home comprises three pavilions - the large central living pavilion with its Balinese-style lantern light roof, with the master bedroom pavilion and the boys' two-storey pavilion at opposite ends connected by what Ward refers to as "covered, glazed links".

The living pavilion is the north-facing focal point that Alan refers to as "the long room". Its light, warmth and convivial functionality, with access to the citrus gardens on one side and the deck and pool on the other, is special.

"You can be working away in the kitchen and still hear everything that's being said in the lounge," he muses.

The architectural drama of this pavilion is made all the more memorable by Ward's walkway links. Their pitched ceilings are lined in the same Indonesian meranti timber as in the lantern light roof. The large glass walls seemingly bring the mature palms and bromeliads inside.

The master bedroom pavilion opens to the central deck, the out-of-sight spa pool and the in-ground pool, to which Alan has added swim jets. At the opposite end, the boys' quarters, with a separate entrance into their ground-floor lounge, include their upstairs bedrooms, bathroom and a large homework room.

Passionate about this home's integrity, builder O'Brien sourced traditional alang alang thatch for the entry pavilions and specified Balinese bamboo fencing panels.

He bought his favourite glazed roof tiles from Bali and his marble from Java because it was the same marble he'd seen at the Jimbaran Bay resort in Bali. His cladding selection - New Zealand Hinuera stone and exterior solid plaster - reflects the stone/plaster choice that is popular in Indonesia, he explains.

Alan's touch has been to plant the gardens with mature palms and bromeliads, leaving space for Buddha by the front door. "You've got to have a buddha in your garden," he says.

The Gilders' extended family have holidayed here while Alan and Gill and have been away.

With Keegan about to take up a college scholarship in the US and Lochlan involved in competitive cycling, the family needs a smaller home base and, says Alan, "this home needs to be lived in".