A Paremata peninsula landmark is on the market for the first time
Auckland-based architect Ian Burrow's iconic designs are characterised by strong, curved geometric forms with imaginative elements such as circular windows and towers.
Thirty years ago, it was a style that appealed to both Ian and Gloria Welch.
"We don't normally agree on things like that," Gloria said with a laugh. "But we both liked what we saw in his designs, so when we decided to build here in Paremata, it was an easy decision."
Choosing the location was an easy decision, too. Back in the mid-eighties, the couple had planned to buy in Auckland; but one look at this site, on the tip of the peninsula, was enough to change their minds.
"It was just the most incredible spot," Gloria says about the site. "Back then we were told it was the chance of a lifetime. And when we heard that someone else was looking at it, we made the decision then and there."
The 'incredible spot' and its landmark house are now on the market. Listing agent Jason Clark of Clark & Co describes the location as: "Arguably 'the grandstand' position of all the peninsula properties. This would have to be one of the most outstanding Wellington-area opportunities in recent times."
When the house was designed, the Welches gave the architect a free hand, and the result stays true to Burrow's aesthetic. From a distance, it looks like three large round white tents pitched next to each other.
The rough-coated exterior plaster is smooth on the inside, and the living areas meander over varying levels. Sloping, tent-like rooflines are complimented by there are perfect round portals and kidney-shaped windows.
The house faces north, with views over the Pauatahanui Inlet. "We actually get more sun in the winter than the summer," says Gloria. "And the way the house is oriented, we're sheltered from the southerlies, too."
Though their children were grown when the house was built, the Welches wanted four bedrooms and bathrooms, and a generous 510 square metres of living space.
Outside, the 1601sqm site has access to the beach, thanks to the couple's efforts.
"It used to be just the cliff, but we just started building steps up, and we got to a certain point. That year, I was asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said that I wanted someone to come in and finish the path. And that's what I got!" Gloria says.
Though they're moving on after nearly three decades in the house, the Welches are as happy with Ian Burrow's design as ever.
"Ian has become a good friend," Gloria says. "He's really an artist, and I think we're quite lucky to be living in one of his creations. And the next person in this house will be lucky, too."
Gloria says she thinks there are only four Ian Burrow houses outside of Auckland. "There's this one, there's one in Raumati, and there's one in Plimmerton."
And the fourth one? That's the just-finished house across the bay that the Welches are moving into.
This house has an RV of $2,000,000, and deadline sales closes at 1pm on 25 May at Clark & Co Realty in Plimmerton.