When Dawn Judge started renovating this Art Deco apartment in the Westminster Court building, she had a profile in mind of someone who might live here.

A gentleman who valued his privacy, well-read and most likely professional or artistic. "I imagined him wearing a smoking jacket and drinking his brandy from a brandy balloon.

"This apartment has a masculine bent to it because I like strong architecture."

Dawn loves a project especially when it's an opportunity to work with a heritage building.


"I am more interested in the architecture than the interior design."

She bought this apartment on the lower ground floor in 2009. "My husband saw it in the Herald."

Not only has she renovated this and another apartment in the building but she has been involved in the restoration of the common areas, choosing a colour palette and carpet that combines the ox blood red of the the stairway iron, the brass, the cream walls and the timber's dark mahogany tones.

5 Parliament Street. Photo / Supplied
5 Parliament Street. Photo / Supplied

She says when the building was built in the 1930s, women were starting to work in the city and this building, originally named Courtville, was seen as a safe environment for single people to live as the city wasn't viewed as safe.

"The building is still seen that way today," says Dawn.

5 Parliament Street. Photo / Supplied

The building was originally configured as a mixture of apartments and offices, says Dawn but when Mainzeal redeveloped it in the 1980s the company took the D and F office stack and redid them as apartments, cribbing central space to add bathrooms and kitchens.

She has done a full restoration of this apartment.

"I stripped it back to the concrete walls. We laid American white oak flooring stained dark with Danish oil."

"We have replumbed, rewired, put in a new hot water cylinder. New kitchen, new bathroom ... new everything really."

5 Parliament Street. Photo / Supplied
5 Parliament Street. Photo / Supplied

Much of the fittings and decor may be newly installed but everything is authentic to the existing Art Deco features such as the vestibule's magnificent stained glass windows.

The kitchen was planned around the retro lines of the new Smeg fridge, and modern appliances are hidden away, integrated into the oak cabinetry. Walls have subway tiles with anthracite grouting, the floor is black and white checkerboard tiles, the bench is granite with a deep sink.

Dawn and her son trawled all over New Zealand antique shops for appropriate lighting such as the Art Deco icecream lights, the Bakelite switches and the solid wooden furniture. Glasstex wallpaper was chosen in different textures "because it is so forgiving".

Dawn has rented out the apartment for nine years, to people wanting to stay somewhere that has office space.

• 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 parking spaces.
• (more or less): 70sq m.
• Price: $1,120,000.
• Body Corp: $5296 a year.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun, noon to 12.30pm.
• Contact: Liz Derbyshire, Barfoot & Thompson, 021 661 978.