Derek and Judith Bartosh had an unusual list of requirements for architect Lindy Leuschke when they built their house in 2000.
"We have a family of asthmatics, so we wanted warm and dry, no surfaces that could collect dust or mould," says Judith.
"We'd been in Remuera, with small kids, and we'd looked and looked at houses that wouldn't be suitable. We had no idea what it would be like to live in Parnell."
The couple's timing was lucky, as a huge estate on St George's Bay Rd opposite Alberon Reserve had recently been carved into four sizeable building blocks, so they snapped up the flattest one on the street-side.
At the time the boys were young — Nick aged 5, Greg 3 — but as they grew their parents realised the benefits of having a Link bus connection right opposite so they could get themselves to Newmarket, the city or school.
Architect Linda's response to the family's brief was a trio of gable roofed buildings linked around an entry on one side, garden on the other. Breaking up the facade with cedar louvres and garage doors, a glassed entry and fenced courtyard responds to the blend of Victorian-era and newer houses in the historic suburb.
The house was reclad in 2005 (a building report is available on this work, says Judith).
A combination of polished concrete floors with underfloor heating downstairs, trimmed with a striking jarrah grid, and wood floors of saligna (an Australian eucalypt also known as Sydney blue gum), with wood shutters at the window took care of the dust problem.
The three wings of the house worked perfectly for family living as the boys were growing. The street-facing wings house the double garage to one side, the formal living and dining room, opening off a private courtyard, to the other.
There is a fireplace in the sitting room, but with the insulation and orientation to collect passive solar heat, it is barely used.
The main living is done in the generous kitchen and family room that spans the back of the property. It was designed to open into a tiled pool on one side, a covered dining porch on the other — but still left plenty of room for a lawn for the boys to play on.
Judith wanted to be able to keep an eye on the kids and their friends playing in the pool and says that most of the entertaining happens outdoors on the terraces.
It's been an ideal house to bring up kids, but now that one has left home, the other about to, Judith and Derek are downsizing to a city apartment.
Judith loved the storage that Lindy slotted in everywhere. The timber and granite kitchen has banks of drawers, standard now, but innovative when the house was built.
There's a dedicated bench for the appliances and an integrated fridge beside the bank of double ovens and microwave/convection oven. Linda continued the cabinets into the family room for the entertainment system.
There are cupboards tucked everywhere, including in a walk-in wardrobe in the master suite and extra cupboards above wardrobes in the other five bedrooms, all fitted with custom drawers and rails.
Upstairs, Lindy designed cross-ventilation in all the bedrooms. The master has airy cathedral ceilings and cedar louvre windows that can stay open all summer to pull breezes through the house. Each of the boys' bedrooms has tree-framed views. One bedroom gets a great view of the Sky Tower and city beyond, and the fifth bedroom has been used as a family study and library.
"This is so completely private. It was great for the kids and their mates around the pool. All our neighbours have been here as long as we have," says Judith. "It's such a light and bright place to live."
46A ST GEORGES BAY RD, PARNELL
• 5 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spaces.
• House 272sq m, land 500sq m.
• Price: Similar houses have sold over $2.8 million.
• Auction: Wed Aug 15, 2pm.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, noon to 12.45pm.
• Schools: Parnell Primary, double grammar zone.
• Contact: Fleur Denning, Bayleys, 021 027 23624, oneroof.co.nz/1178278