Property valuer Jonathan Edwards knows Remuera well. Brought up in Seaview Rd, his work appraising high-end residential property takes him to some of its best homes.
Two years ago, in the search for a home for himself and Westie terrier Allie, he came across this Neville Price-designed townhouse for sale in Arney Cres. One of a trio and in need of some care and attention, this was a rare opportunity.
The townhouse was the only one to come up for sale since the three were built in 1974.
With his objective valuer's eye Jonathan could see this home's attributes, namely its spectacular view to Hobson Bay and across the harbour to North Head, as well as its lock-and-leave convenience, open-plan living and masonry construction. The north-facing orientation also appealed. But, leaving aside his professional objectivity, Jonathan was looking for a home - a more subjective decision.
Jonathan liked this townhouse's "quirky 1970s architecture, all in circles" and appreciated the fact it was designed by Neville Price. Price designed the Manukau City buildings and is a recipient of an Enduring Architecture award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects for West Plaza in central Auckland, built in 1972.
Price, who is still practising architecture, says the circle was a predominant theme in his work during the 1970s. The townhouse's "circular theme evolved from a space-saving circular stair, within a circular tower and additional circular forms complemented that", Price explains.
Jonathan had planned for this to be his long-term home. Respectful of its architectural provenance, he completely refreshed the interior and the garden.
Briefing designer Stewart Harris from Martin Hughes Design to realise his ideas, he also added about 10sq m to include a smart new kitchen. The kitchen, with CaesarStone benchtops and Bosch appliances, features a diamond-shaped island bench and leads to a circular, sky-lit breakfast nook.
In the townhouse's double-height circular entrance tower you get an introduction to the "quirkiness" that so enamoured Jonathan.
Flooded with natural light, thanks to a skylight, the tower features Price's signature circular stairs up to the second level.
The ground floor has two bedrooms - one a guest room with a tiled semi-en suite with Duravit fittings, including a bidet. The master en suite, again with tiles, has a generously proportioned bath and twin basins.
Providing a buffer between the two bedrooms is an expansive area with a skylight that Jonathan uses as his home office. Future owners may wish to use it as an additional living area. The master bedroom opens through bi-fold doors on to a private garden with decking.
Upstairs is devoted to an array of living spaces. The first is a charming, cosy circular library with built-in shelving and an internal window that overlooks the stairwell. The main open-plan living area has room for formal dining, and flows on to a loggia and deck.
Next to the loggia is an original 1970s spiral staircase that leads to the roof deck and a bird's-eye view that takes in the tops of the city's tallest buildings, across leafy Remuera's northern slopes and over the harbour to Devonport. Back down in the living area, the view is also fantastic, whether you're seated inside or on the deck.
Although Jonathan loves this home, he's moving into a new home with his girlfriend.By Penny Lewis