Buying guide

Mid-century updated designer home with Ōrākei basin views

A mid-century home overlooking Ōrākei Basin, has been given a tasteful update which accentuates its original design.

Last updated: 21 September 2023

On its first day on the market, a flurry of interest was already swirling around a stylish mid-century designer home in Remuera’s Darwin Lane, up for sale after 50 years in one family.

There are certain people who are always keeping an eye out for properties in this exclusive part of Remuera which overlooks Ōrākei Basin, says listing agent Ray White Remuera’s Harry Champtaloup. And he’s already hearing from some of these buyers.

It’s all about the views, he says. The north-facing home, built in 1962, was designed by Mark-Brown & Fairhead to make the most of these shimmering water views to the basin. The home also has extensive modern decking leading to the home’s swimming pool. 

On an 859 sq m site, near the top of Darwin Lane, no.4 is a very private place to live: “It has a little community feel, it doesn’t feel like you’re in central Auckland,” says Harry, who grew up nearby.

The current owners recently completed an update to the four bedroom, two bathroom home giving it a contemporary kitchen and living area. The new kitchen includes three Miele ovens and Forté timber floors. 

“They’ve updated with real style. The mid-century architecture has been tastefully reinvented with a modern kitchen but it hasn’t tainted the original design. Architecturally, nothing has changed,” says Harry. 

An earlier piece of work, done 20 years ago, also added a stunning piece of leadlight glasswork at the entrance of the home which is truly eye-catching..

The designer of the stained glass windows,Suzanne Hanly, says her brief was to obscure the interior, but at the same time let light in. Her clients loved the blue stained glass, she says. Suzanne’s company, The Glassworks, does a lot of church work and public buildings.

Another improvement made to the home over the years has been the enclosure of a former deck, producing one of the most attractive rooms of the house, its timber interior creating a cosy, restful space. With a separate entrance, it’s a room someone could work from or use as a treatment room. 

Over two levels, the 273 sq m property has a separate study and a living area/family room with the bedrooms downstairs, giving the new owners a number of living and working options.

“They are still very intimate spaces and they create separation,” says Harry.  

This is a home that could work equally for families or just a couple who want to spend a lot of time living and working at the property. The current owners raised their family there and have now bought an apartment. 

Meanwhile, when it’s time to play, the new owners will be able to enjoy a variety of activities from water skiing to hiking around the basin. There’s always action on the water, annual school regattas and all sorts of windsurfers, says the Ray White agent. Or you can just sit out on the deck and enjoy the birdlife of tūī, kererū and others.

The Benson Road village will be your local shops and the Knead on Benson bakery cafe is taking Auckland by storm, says Harry.  

The property, zoned for Epsom Girls Grammar and Remuera Intermediate, is coming up for auction on October 12. It has a CV of $3.75 million and the Ray White agent expects it to attract bids north of that. A nearby, smaller home sold for $6 million in the hot property market of 2021.


Gill South
Gill South