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A new Auckland house for celebrity couple Adam Parore and Sally Ridge is fast taking shape on the site of the 100-year-old villa they bowled last year.

Builders have put up structural steel framework for upper-level gables at the new house, which makes a nod to tradition by featuring a mix of old and modern design.

The three-level home by Bond Design of Palmerston North will have an infinity swimming pool, large basement carpark with internal access, glass balustrades around decks and stone entrance wall. But its cladding will be painted-timber weatherboards to fit in with the neighbourhood.

When seeking Auckland City's permission last year to demolish their pre-1940s house at 41 Arthur St, Freemans Bay, the couple said every effort had been made to design the new house "to reflect the traditional form of dwellings in the neighbourhood".

The house is rising at the narrow cul-de-sac end of Arthur St, one street down from Ponsonby Rd and running parallel with the popular restaurant strip.

The tiny street running off Franklin Rd has a collection of timber houses, many dating from before the 1900s.

The neighbourhood has become increasingly busy, as earthmoving and building equipment competes for road space with Radio Live's commercial operations only a few doors away from the Parore/Ridge house.

Demolition in the character zone of Freemans Bay caused a row last year when neighbours complained the couple's plans for such a large new place would alter the character of the area and could set a precedent for others to demolish heritage houses.

Parore, cricketer-turned-mortgage broker, said last year that they had bought the house with the intention of renovating but it became apparent the cost of doing so to meet the Building Code was too high. So they decided to rebuild.

Ridge, a fashion designer, complained to the New Zealand Woman's Weekly that their villa was rat-infested, water came back up the sinks, floorboards were rotten, the wiring was blown, the plumbing was terrible and water poured through the floor.

Every weekend for two years, she and teenage daughter Jaime would cautiously open the food cupboards to find half-chewed biscuits and torn bags of pasta - evidence of the scale of vermin infestation, she told the magazine.

She was also surprised one night when she and Parore woke to the sound of scratching to find a rat in a bedside drawer.

The council granted the couple permission to build the new house, which does not comply with the minimum landscape-permeable surface controls or maximum paved-impermeable surface controls.

Quotable Value records show the couple paid $2.4 million for the house in 2003. The property was valued at $1 million when it was sold in 1988.