Out front is the sea, all the way to the Coromandel on a clear day. Sometimes dolphins come into the bay below to give birth: they hang around for a few days then head back out to their pod, says Victoria Still, a classical musician who lives in this solid concrete construction with her dad, Gavin.

Gavin, a consulting engineer, says after 50 years in the construction industry he put the best of everything he could into the home which is all about the view.

He bought the rectangular site, back from the cliff, when it was bare land and, working with Fearon Hay Architects, put glass along the entire long front of the house and at the two sides at either end.

You can open the whole lot up on a summer's day and let the sea breeze drift through, or sit out at either end on the concrete patios with a wine from Gavin's 320-bottle wine cellar.


The glass has a tint so if anyone uses the walking track out front, you still have your privacy. And because the path is lower down, all you can see are bobbing heads.

The ceiling is high stud and the glass goes all the way to the top. "Making it so high brings in the light and the sky," says Gavin.

"When you look out there, you don't just see a portion of the sky, you see most of it."

Victoria says it doesn't matter what the weather is doing because the view is always gorgeous.

Gannets and shearwaters dive, and at night you can watch the cruise ships all lit up out in the channel.

With Motutapu and Rakino islands ahead, and Okoromai Bay then protected Shakespear Park sweeping to the left, you can never be built out.

The predator fence at Shakespear Park snakes its way up the hill and since it was erected there has been a huge increase in birdlife, Gavin says.

Morepork come to visit, along with tui, bellbirds and kererū, and a cormorant colony is nearby.

Gavin and his late wife Dianne sold their property in Albany and lived at the nearby Gulf Harbour marina for a time while they looked for the right site.

"We said, 'Well look, that's a magnificent view and the house should be about the view'."

Gavin knew Fearon Hay was largely into glass so he contacted the firm.

There weren't as many homes in the area back then (the house was completed in 2002) and he didn't want it to stand out like a sore thumb, so opted for a long, single-level concrete house that would blend into the landscape and be easy to maintain.

Inside, textured concrete walls flow from a living room, through a kitchen and second lounge to a master bedroom with a big walk-in wardrobe and en suite.

Behind is a hallway with skylights off which are two more bedrooms, a bathroom and an office.

Victoria has planted colourful shrubs just beyond the concrete deck along the front of the house, and there are louvres at the other end of the house you can close to create a cosy outdoor room with outdoor fire place.

The house is "massively constructed," Gavin says, and nearby is the golf course and Country Club, the marina and the ferry to town.

The sale of this clifftop home is a reluctant one but, at 78, Gavin says you have to be sensible and it is time to move on.

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