An architect-designed Grey Lynn house, scoffed at as odd by neighbours, has sold for $2.6 million - $900,000 more than its QV.

The house at 28 Arnold St was sold by architect Richard Naish and Andrea Hotere, daughter of writer Cilla McQueen and artist Ralph Hotere. QV records showed the couple bought it in 2008 for $887,500.

But they spent a lot on the site, demolishing an older house and creating a futuristic pale house, clothed in ornate decorative screens with motifs redolent of nearby fretwork.

Mr Naish, of RTA Studio, said yesterday the high sale price reflected the "intrinsic worth" of an architecturally designed house.


"Good design is appreciated and has value," he said.

He refused to say who had bought it or why it was sold.

The house is on a 981sq m site, when many others in the street are nearer 500sq m or 600sq m.

The land alone is valued at $1 million.

Neighbours scoffed at the place, calling it outlandishly ugly and odd in the old street lined with bungalows and villas. They nicknamed it The Ark in reference to its bland exterior and unusual shape.

People in the area said a flyer was distributed boasting about the unusually high price achieved which had surprised them because not many houses fetch that amount.

One Arnold St resident bet his wife a bottle of champagne that their street would show a $2 million sale this year. He said yesterday she had honoured the wager.

Mr Naish said the house had won a regional Auckland area prize in the latest NZ Institute of Architects awards, and had gone forward for a national award, due to be announced in the next few weeks.


The house and Mr Naish featured in a YouTube video, with NZIA president Patrick Clifford, talking about the design and various aspects such as the kitchen, cladding and layout.

It is also on RTA's website, under residential work as "House For Five".

Mr Naish said a young family had bought it at auction on February 22.

QV records showed Grey Lynn was one of Auckland's most popular suburbs in the past three years, recording a 33.9 per cent rise in sale prices since 2009.

NZIA judges said: "This house is an interesting and creative addition to an existing character street."