Cool home's warm welcome

By Catherine Masters

1618 DOMINION RD, MT ROSKILL
4
2
2*
SIZE: Land 658sq m, house 232sq m.
PRICE INDICATION: Above $1.3 million.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 3.30pm-4pm.
SCHOOL ZONES: Waikowhai primary and intermediates, Lynfield College, Mt Roskill grammar.
CONTACT: Keith and Sandy Dowdle, 021 877 905, Custom Residential.
AUCTION: May 7 on site at 4pm.
*Plus off-street

Darren Wilkinson has a passion for mid-century properties so when he saw this 1960s beauty by architects Thorpe, Cutter, Pickmere and Douglas he threw everything into owning it.

That was just over two years ago and Darren has wrestled for six months with the idea of selling, but his management consultant job has expanded and he spends more time away from the home than in it.

He reckons, though, anyone who has a love of modernist architecture will enjoy this house positioned at the top of a gentle slope with views to Manukau Harbour in one direction and One Tree Hill in another.

The house features floor to ceiling windows, which means every room is filled with light, and there is a lot more to love, he says.

He's particularly keen on the built-in cabinetry that is not just in the bedrooms but also the lounge - including a cupboard that when opened reveals a plumbed-in bar complete with a little sink.

"I still love the jaw dropping moment when I open the bar up. It's amazing. You get the ice and the bucket and people are just like 'Ahh, this is so classic, nobody has this in their house any more'."

The house is on three levels and the architects were ahead of their time, he says.

Features innovative for their day are now sought-after and the house oozes them, from those windows to the reclaimed brick wall of the carport, which is almost a feature wall in itself.

"It's got a lot of stuff in it that was the first of its kind," says Darren.

1618 Dominion Road Extension Mount Roskill, Auckland. Photo / David Rowland/Getty Images
1618 Dominion Road Extension Mount Roskill, Auckland. Photo / David Rowland/Getty Images

Take the heating system which heats all three levels.

"It's got this incredible diesel-powered heating unit and you just flick the switch on the wall when you come in to the temperature you want. It kicks into gear and within five minutes you're in a beautiful warm house."

The build and the craftsmanship give it a timelessness and Darren, only the second owner, has all the original plans in a folder.

"If you go back to the 60s, this was the modernist architecture practice in town ... They created a number of really cool homes in Auckland.

"The first morning that I woke up and looked out from my bed it was just like this beautifully crafted room; I was spinning, you know."

There's a sliding door to shut the sleeping level; there's a laundry chute; you can shut the kitchen off from the rest of that level and the kitchen also has a little servery with sliding window.

Outdoors is landscaped with a grassy backyard, and outside the funky, tiled ground floor entertaining level is an oblong, tiled succulent garden - which used to be a spa pool.

Darren investigated and says it wouldn't take much to turn it back into a spa pool, plus he says underneath the carpet on the mid-level are rimu floors that would look fantastic polished up.

The address is great, too, and he says you have the serenity of being at the Waikowhai beach end of Dominion Road but are only 20 minutes to town, plus there are all the eateries along the way, and Mt Albert and Mt Eden are near.

- NZ Herald

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