Today I sold a Group Architect Home in Hillcrest on the North Shore.
These homes are quite special and are part of New Zealand’s architectural heritage. They mark a major change in architecture and reflect the unique kiwi way of life. I did not recognise it at first as the present owners had painted all the timber with white wash. Group architect homes usually feature natural materials just as native timbers and stone. Personally I felt the white wash on the floorboards and paint on the ceiling beams are a great enhancement and make the home light and bright.
Constructed in 1953 this home boasts indoor – outdoor flow and open-plan living areas, something, which, at the time it was built would have been unique and avant garde! These features have become part of the kiwi way of life, we have a need to bring the outdoors inside and love to eat outside and enjoy family life around a Barbecue. The open plan living-dining and kitchen is egalitarian and reflected a growing equality of the sexes in the 1950’s. It was becoming unacceptable to lock Mum away in the kitchen, and the preparation of food was a part of entertaining and baby-boomer family life that everyone enjoyed.
A modest bungalow, it demonstrated that architecture enhanced the everyday life of common people, again part of New Zealand’s egalitarianism. The windows are tall, floor to ceiling to allow lots of light inside, and the pitched ceiling with exposed beams are all part of the style. This home would have been a stand out amongst it’s more ordinary neighbours in Hillcrest.
I know of another in Quebec Road, Milford and 3, I think, in Northboro Road in Takapuna. Here’s a film made in 1950 of the construction of a home that could just about be the one I just sold in Ocean View Road.