Having discovered some of New Zealand's most successful models, Kim Larking has used his eye for beauty to create an extraordinary live-work apartment.
Kim drew on his own international modelling experience to found Clyne Models in 1991, later also buying Nova Models. He discovered top models Kylie Bax and Project Runway NZ presenter Georgia Fowler.
Kim says: "When this apartment was first shown to me it was just a shell with boxes of rubbish piled head-high throughout.
"I designed the premises to house Clyne and Nova Models and to reflect the epitome of fashion and cutting edge design."
He sold the Clyne business in 2011. When its lease on this apartment expired last year, Kim re-invented the floor to create a versatile space.
"I believe the apartment has a very international feeling because it's all custom-designed from scratch," he says.
"I can see it appealing to a funky couple who've returned from London or New York wanting a live-work space."
He was heavily involved in the design, balancing it with his focus on the sister charities he set up, Vision for Humanity and Vision Products.
The apartment has three secure basement car parks and takes up the third floor of a towering building off Symonds St, with views from Auckland Museum to Grafton Bridge.
Kim has offered the apartment as a luxury event location branded 'The Black Diamond' and this is a turn-key sale. This apartment comes fully outfitted with everything from technology and furniture down to 50 of every sort of wine glass imaginable.
Two lifts access the apartment. Visitors are greeted with a massive black Buddha-topped indoor fountain.
"The whole place is black, white and silver," says Kim. "I thought: who on earth would put a giant black Buddha fountain inside an apartment?: Let me think, I would."
The versatile 302sq m expanse can either be largely open-plan or closed off using sliding doors and drop-down partial walls.
It's configured with one 35sq m bedroom and a bathroom plus various living-working spaces complemented by an entertainer's kitchen.
Kim upsized a smaller door to the covered deck to large, sliding ones. The kitchen has two full-sized fridges, two under-bench fridges, an oversized oven plus two combination microwave-ovens and a dual extractor over its island hob.
A huge table nearby can be dining table or work space. Kim designed a 200-crystal chandelier and the multi-level coffee table below it, which can be taken apart Meccano-style with allen keys.
A lounging area with day beds is perfect for watching a film on one of two 1.27-m TV touch-screens mounted on swivelling beams. Morning sun pours into the large bedroom, while the Italian-tiled bathroom incorporates dual toilets, showers and basins. Lighting systems and audio systems also feature.
Storage is designed to be extensive but discreet, with low cupboards below big circumference windows. The white perimeter just inside these breaks up the decor and has served as a waiter-way to serve guests and as a models' runway.
Kim says: "I find people can be still taking it all in 20 minutes after they've arrived."
He is now wanting to open a wellness centre as part of his charity work.
3A/2 ST MARTINS LANE, GRAFTON, AUCKLAND
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 3 car parking spaces
SIZE (more or less): Apartment 320sq m.
INSPECT: Sat/Sun 1-1.30pm.
AUCTION: Wed 7 Nov, 12.30pm in rooms at Ray White Newmarket, 136 Broadway, Newmarket (unless sold prior).
SCHOOLS: Newton Central School, Ponsonby Intermediate, Auckland Grammar, Auckland Girls' Grammar.
CONTACT: Eden Thomson, 021 790 552, Ray White.
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