This two-storey modernist house by renowned architect William "Bill" Chick is owned by costume-fashion worker Rachel Strong and her ex-partner Chris Elliott.

Says Rachel: "Chris and I had always liked modernist houses and were looking to buy one in 2001."

A friend who owned a 1950s home designed by Chick knew one of his houses was available to relocate from St Heliers.

Chris and Rachel had it trucked to a site they'd bought that had previously been the women's green at the Grey Lynn Bowling Club.

"We only took half the house because the platform wouldn't allow its entire original L-shaped format," says Rachel. "But we kept the good bits of the house, losing the bedrooms which were quite small.

"We liked its big windows with little ones above and louvres, big sliding doors, good-sized kitchen and great 1950s details."


Architects extended the modernist part with a bottom storey to deliver the balance of what the family needed. They moved into this distinctive blend in 2002.

2A Sefton Avenue, Grey Lynn. Photo / Ted Baghurst
2A Sefton Avenue, Grey Lynn. Photo / Ted Baghurst

An historical quirk means Google Maps may direct you to turn off Great North Rd to get here, but open home visitors definitely want to come off Sefton Cres, down Gilbert Ave to Sefton Ave.

A right-of-way alongside the bowling club forks off to Number 2A. Triple off-street parking bolsters its internal-access double garage.

The original upper portion is weatherboard with some dark-stained cedar ply downstairs, plus geometrically ribbed corrugated iron on north and easterly sides.

Upstairs, the living area's panoramic views stretch around Grey Lynn Ridge, Mt Eden, Chinaman's Hill, Mt Roskill, Three Kings and Hillsborough.

Rachel says: "You can watch the weather rolling in. The upstairs covered porch that these sliding doors open out to is original too."

2A Sefton Avenue, Grey Lynn. Photo / Ted Baghurst
2A Sefton Avenue, Grey Lynn. Photo / Ted Baghurst

The sun-drenched, open plan living-dining room flows out to the porch and a deck. It's complete with windows, pelmets and ceiling mouldings.

Next door is the kitchen Rachel adores. It retains some vibe from the 1950s despite recent refurbishment in a timber and sky blue palette with vintage-look Marmoleum flooring.


Upstairs came with grass green carpet which they grew to adore. "I nearly danced for joy when I found new carpet in the exact same colour to replace it after it wore out," says Rachel.

"It's definitely 'grass green' because we had a rabbit that used to come in the cat door and nibble on the original carpet — I'm sure it was thoroughly confused."

2A Sefton Avenue, Grey Lynn. Photo / Ted Baghurst
2A Sefton Avenue, Grey Lynn. Photo / Ted Baghurst

A bedroom and a family bathroom-laundry with shower-clawfoot bath combo complete upstairs.

Downstairs, the front door opens into a lobby where a vintage Dominion Breweries door announces a second living area.

Three downstairs bedrooms include one with its own toilet. The master bedroom has en suite and walk-in-wardrobe.

The grounds include an alfresco pizza oven, a patio, lawn and planting favouring subtropicals, and a myriad of fruit trees along the easterly flank.

The property is walking distance to local schools and handy to the city, West Lynn and motorways.

The time feels right for Rachel to sell, with Jasper having moved to Wellington to study.

• 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• House: 258sq m, Land 1,200sq m.
• Tender: Closes 17 April (unless sold prior).
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 3-3.30pm.
• Schools: Grey Lynn, Pasadena Intermediate, Western Springs College, Auckland Girls' Grammar.
• Contact: Anna Copeland, Barfoot & Thompson, 021 800 669 and Matt O'Brien, 021 687 866.
*Plus 3 OSP