Auckland has an abundance of delightful old villas — but they can be cold and creaky and require a lot of maintenance.

Arvi Crossland, of Equity Building, wanted 2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, to fit the style of the area but be fantastic to live in.

"In terms of the build we wanted to see if we could create this new proposition where you've got the timeless elegance of a villa but the creature comforts of a modern house."

Go straight to the listing: https://www.oneroof.co.nz/25-derwent-street-western-springs-auckland-city-auckland-1281252

With this build (and the one in front, snapped up before it was finished) an emphasis was put on craftsmanship and sustainability.

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2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, Auckland. Photos / Ted Baghurst
2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, Auckland. Photos / Ted Baghurst

The original house on the site — an old villa dating to the 1910s — was occupied by the same family for many years and sold to a removal company for $1. Says Arvi: "Our approach was of respecting what we were to build within a community of family homes and on a site that had a history deep within one family."


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Only items deemed to have almost zero value were put into the rubbish skip, meaning metal was stripped out, timber rafters de-nailed, and chimney bricks re-used.

"The entire project took eight months to build two replica villas 230sq m each"
This two-level house, which goes to auction on June 12, has a 2.7m stud. Master craftsman elements include hand-cut fretwork. The handrail on the stairs was crafted by a Scotsman who did a seven-year apprenticeship in staircases.

2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, Auckland. Photos / Ted Baghurst
2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, Auckland. Photos / Ted Baghurst

New Zealand suppliers were used most of the time. Internal doors are solid timber instead of hollow core; window joinery is New Zealand-made from Alaskan yellow cedar.

Modern features include LED lights and power points with USB connections.

Upstairs features a lounge with a deck and three bedrooms, including the master with walk-in wardrobe and en suite.

Downstairs is the kitchen and the main living area, with bifold doors leading to a deck made of garapa hardwood from Peru. The knot-free timber fencing is whitewashed.

2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, Auckland. Photos / Ted Baghurst
2/5 Derwent St, Western Springs, Auckland. Photos / Ted Baghurst

The ground level also has a fourth bedroom with en suite and separate entrance, and a garage with internal access.

Real estate agent Godfrey Twigden says the house is handy to Mt Eden, Grey Lynn, the central city, and arterial routes. Plus it gets all-day sun.

"In any market quality will sell and, in my 20 years of real estate, this build quality is at that top end."

2/5 DERWENT ST, WESTERN SPRINGS
• 4 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 1 parking spaces.
• Auction: June 12
• Contact: Godfrey Twigden, UP, 021 624 388