20.10.11 by Nick Sayes

1 Belmont for Sale

DMA’s 1 Belmont is currently up For Sale.  Get a piece of DMA or take a nosey at the open home.


Article From NZ Herald

Building a modern home in a street of character houses is not for the faint-hearted, especially when you are dealing with a tight site.

Catherine and Tim McIntyre had originally intended rebuilding and extending the existing two-storey worker’s cottage, but it was so rundown they had to demolish it and begin again.

Replacing the house in a Residential 1 zoning meant complying with council rules that stipulated the new structure have a weatherboard-type facade with the same gable height as the original and neighbouring house. It also had to be the same distance back from the street and have vertical fence pickets. A two-storey dwelling could be built on the original footprint, but any addition had to be single-level.

With the help of architect Daniel Marshall, who won a 2007 NZIA Auckland Branch Award for the project, the McIntyres were able to meet those conditions and create a modern home with street appeal that makes the most of the narrow site. In fact, Catherine says their home has become something of a case study in what can be achieved within council guidelines. “We quite often have people standing out on the street, looking at the house and pointing at it as something that is allowable,” she says.

From the street, the angled face of the house, its double-height aluminium louvres and black weatherboards tell you it is no typical home, but give little else away. Still, you are in no doubt where you are, with “one belmont” writ large in the frosted-glass front door. When the sun hits the letters, they are projected inside the house – an effect that Catherine says is as welcome as it was unintentional.

As well as being a design feature, the angled face of the house helps to accommodate the staircase of raw steel and concrete that connects the three levels, from basement garage and laundry through the main living level to the upstairs master bedroom with en suite.

While the council dictated guidelines for the street frontage, the McIntyres asked Marshall to include “gallery-like walls; all white with plays of light and shade”.

Concrete steps lead to the front door up to the main living level with its terrazzo floors. Here, the open-plan living area has a kitchen/dining room in a single-height space that morphs into a double-height space in the lounge area, thanks to the master bedroom on a mezzanine floor above. The master bedroom shares the outlook to a walled courtyard, but can also be closed off with sliders.

The kitchen, designed by Rose Schwarz, has a butler’s pantry and integrated appliances. “We are big on cooking, so the kitchen has got a lot in it,” says Catherine.

Commercial-grade sliding glass doors open the lounge to the courtyard and are used to open up the sides of the walkway that takes you down alongside the courtyard and into the single-level part of the house on the other side.

The boundary wall has been cleverly turned into a soothing, ficus-framed water feature.

On the other side of the courtyard is a bedroom and, at the rear of the house, an office opens to a walled garden. A shower with a glass exterior wall looks out to the water feature.

Catherine says one of the beauties of the home’s design is that during summer the windows behind the louvres can be left open – and the doors around the internal courtyard – with no security concerns.

Having enjoyed their luxurious and livable home for the past five years, the McIntyres are keen to tackle another project.

By Graham Hepburn

View Referenced Project in Project Portfolio

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