Hey, just go with the flow

By Sandra Goodwin

SIZE: Land approx 889sq m, house 442.5sq m plus 265.5sq m decks.
PRICE INDICATION: Interest expected in mid-$3 million range. Sale by negotiation.
INSPECT: Viewing by appointment.
ON THE WEB: barfoot.co.nz/512834
SCHOOL ZONES: Churchill Park School, Glendowie College.
CONTACT: Leila and David MacDonald and Stephen Chang, Barfoot & Thompson, ph 021 928 926 (Leila), 021 650 901 (David) or 021 928 687 (Stephen).
FEATURES: Spacious architect-designed home with views over neighbouring park to city and harbour. Arranged around striking indoor- outdoor front pool; abundant decks and luxury features.
5 Waitara Rd, St Heliers. Photo / Ted Baghurst
5 Waitara Rd, St Heliers. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Young Alex Bacher's desire for a flying fox from his bedroom to the neighbouring park seems almost feasible in this luxurious yet highly individual home laden with the unexpected.

Twelve-year-old Alex has matured in a home organised around an impressive double-height atrium incorporating an indoor-outdoor swimming pool.

Towering multistorey glass and steel pool doors swing at the touch of a button, opening the home and pool to the outdoors. A striking suspended staircase curves above the pool, which features a quirky underwater viewing window.

Considering all this, Alex's concept for a flying fox from his upstairs bedroom, through the open pool doors and across to Glover Park seems almost do-able. The architecturally designed home's bucolic outlook over Glover Park was part of the appeal when Alex's parents, Ann and Michael Bacher, bought here six years ago.

Michael, who's always liked the idea of living in this street, points to the park and says, "See my 'lawn'? I don't even need to mow it!"

The home flows out to multiple decks oriented for great views. As well as facing the lush grass and trees of the park, the contemporary home also reveres a wide harbour panorama encompassing the city lights of downtown Auckland.

Michael says, "You can watch all the spinnakers coming down the harbour during Wednesday night racing. The harbour view is beautiful even when it's foggy."

The Bachers had the architect Alex Ross, who conceived the home for its original owners, return to design a large rear extension flowing out to rear decks and extra outdoor entertaining areas.

"He really looked at light and privacy when he designed this home," says Michael.

Ann adds, "It's a fantastic home. It's very easy to live in, with lots of different spaces, but they're all just a few steps away."

The couple have redecorated throughout, including putting in wooden floors through living areas.

The property enjoys an elevated position on this quiet, no-exit street with generous offstreet parking bolstering a double plus a single internal-access garage. Swimmers can dive to the pool's underwater window to check out who's arriving in the main entrance hall. This ground floor also has an additional entrance alongside a study (alternately the fifth bedroom), a laundry and wine storage.

The impressive central atrium anchored by the swimming pool is a hallmark of the first floor, which can accommodate large-scale entertaining with versatile living spaces and seamless indoor-outdoor flow. There's outdoor dining and a gas fireplace on the front decks, which open off a formal living room (currently used as a music room) and a family living room.

A covered barbecue area is off the kitchen, which teams granite benches and high-gloss blue cabinetry and has a dining area alongside. This level also has a bedroom/office, a bathroom, powder room and laundry.

The suspended staircase above the pool heads up to the second floor where Alex's bedroom, near the family bathroom, overlooks the pool void. Big sister Bianca's bedroom has its own front deck and balcony while the master suite boasts a front balcony, dressing area, walk-in wardrobe and en suite.

"You wake up in the morning and you don't even need to lift your head to see the harbour," says Michael. The Bachers added the big rear entertainment room, opening to al-fresco dining and sheltered rear decks cosseting a spa pool.

Additional features include a PABX, security and indoor-outdoor music systems, underfloor heating and air-conditioning, a dumb waiter and a motorised pool cover.

Ann and Michael have typically changed homes every couple of years so reckon it's significant that this home's charms have anchored them for six.

- NZ Herald

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