A Herne Bay villa, which presents as a traditional Victorian structure, has a surprising feature that you might never imagine when looking at the place from the street.
Renowned architect Ken Crosson, who co-presented TVNZ series The New Zealand Home, is selling his white weatherboard Ardmore Rd home.
He has revealed for the first time what he did three years ago to take that place forward more than a century.
His home has a back door so wide that it opens almost the entire width of the place up to the garden.
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Crosson not only designed a stylish new kitchen/dining/lounge area with dark grey joinery to take advantage of his place opening to a sunny, elevated, private garden. But within that change, he designed the door to bring the indoors out.
He commissioned the Coromandel's Mercury Bay Engineering to make the floor-to-ceiling double-glazed steel-framed door.
That 6m wide structure has within it two sets of French doors to add to flexibility of use.
"The Lightbox has been designed as a striking contrast to the home's early 1900s heritage. Unexpected yet supremely functional, this open-plan zone has been crafted for seamless living," advertising says.
"Here, the galley kitchen with its sleek lines and ample bench space, will delight the ardent foodie with plenty of room to play. This space is distinguished by an extraordinary custom-designed door that opens the whole back of the home to the private backyard. Set within it, is a series of French doors, another option for uninterrupted interaction with the garden - the work of award-winning landscape designers Megan Wraight and Felix Smith.
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Crosson acknowledged that in a howling gale, he wouldn't open the steel door. It runs smoothly on a jockey wheel which fits in a stainless steel grove in the ground to make a super-track.
And the door had to be made of steel, not aluminium, "because aluminium wouldn't have anywhere near the structural properties of steel."
To counter any sudden gusts, the door can be firmly fixed along its track with a tower bolt.
"Wind isn't a problem," Crosson said.
"It's just fabulous in there in the middle of summer. You're 'in' the back yard when you're cooking dinner and you have that connection to the outside which is more dramatic than normal."
Advertising by Ray White refers to a "classically gorgeous frontage that hides an inspired contemporary architectural extension at the rear".
"It's an absolute contrast and we wanted it because the way we live now is very different to the way people lived in Victorian times which was very insular. The front of the house is more enclosed," Crosson said.
The renovated back area nods to the front: timber floors continue throughout and rafters in the new kitchen/dining/living area are all exposed, reflecting battens on the ceiling of the older part of his place.
The renovation was carried out "in the existing footprint but it's pretty much a rebuild."
Crosson has owned the home for 37 years and says once he has sold, he is now planning to develop a new office and two apartments at a Ponsonby Rd address. Work has not yet started.
And as for his film career, he's working with an Australian business to visit hotels around New Zealand in a programme to be screened in New Zealand.