High ceilings and large sash windows bringing in natural light sold empty nesters Peter and Linda Murphy on this penthouse apartment in Federal St's Hampton Court building 10 years ago.
"We had sold our big house in Mission Bay, our boys had left home and we wanted to downsize," explains Peter.
Peter says the penthouse, one of two on the 9th floor, has a wonderful ambience, a cosmopolitan feel in the style of a New York loft or a Paris dwelling. He especially appreciates the squareness of the rooms, making it easy to place furniture, and having the covered outdoor terrace. Other pluses are the separate dining room, separate lounge and a good size, stand-alone kitchen.
"There are two double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a walk-in wardrobe in the main bedroom, which you also don't get in most apartments," he says. "I like the dimensions. And it's nice to look out at St Matthew in the City. It's a lovely structure and you look right down to the bridge and the harbour."
The Murphys bought the apartment in June 2003. "We have had 10 happy years here."
That decade has witnessed substantial renovations. The neo-Georgian reinforced concrete and brick building has a new roof and exterior recladding. Inside, the apartment has a new kitchen, new carpet and new drapes.
"It's a reasonably large apartment. Real estate agents have described it more as a home than an apartment; it's a very livable space. The bedrooms are well away from the traffic, so they are relatively quiet, plus it's a dead-end street so you don't get a lot of traffic driving up and down. And the location is wonderful: three minutes to the Aotea Centre; the library, movie theatres and transport are all close."
Hampton Court was designed by architect SE Alleman and built in 1929. The structure for the two penthouses was put up in the late 50s then substantially refurbished in 1994.
Peter says they are selling because, "We are also keen gardeners and we would like, before we get too old, to find a couple of acres and have one last crack at building a nice garden.
"I love living here and I'm a bit loath to leave but I'm also looking forward to going back to living in the country.
"But I will miss the city lifestyle, going to the Britomart farmers' market at the weekend and having a coffee on the way back. All the city sort of things."