Architecture aficionados accept the adventitious to breeze up a cogent Mid-century Avant-garde home in Christchurch that was advised for the Fletcher family.
It’s attenuate to get a able-bodied maintained, yet “untouched” Mid-century home arise assimilate the bazaar in New Zealand.
And that’s one acumen why this jewel in Ilam, Christchurch has been declared as “a bit of a secret”. It’s additionally hidden abroad at the end of a cul-de-sac, and has hardly been in the accessible eye.
Known in architectural circles as the Fletcher House, it was advised in 1962 by Humphrey Hall of Hall and Mackenzie Architects for John Fletcher of Fletcher Construction, who capital “a assignment of art” for his own family. The accepted owners, Liz and Donn Armstrong, who are affairs privately, call it as a “collaboration amid one of the country’s beat avant-garde architects and a able applicant with big appetite and abysmal pockets”.
The Fletcher House, advised by Humphrey Hall in 1962 and congenital in 1963, is one of this country’s best admired Mid-century Avant-garde gems.
And it’s accessible to see why it is admired by architectonics aficionados. Simple and backward on the outside, it’s accession adventure on the inside, area aggregate is aboriginal and the affluence of the balk autogenous absolutely glows.
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Hall was afflicted by the Usonian homes advised by allegorical American artist Frank Lloyd Wright. Matt Arnold, who is affiliated to Kate, a niece of owners, has able a website about the house. He says it references Wright’s “efficient, low-slung single-storey structures that favoured open-plan living, accustomed abstracts and intricate architectonics details”.
The Armstrongs fell in adulation with the abode aback they aboriginal went through it 17 years ago, afterwards backward from farming.
“I bethink walking into the house, axis larboard and seeing all this bewitched amber and admirable construction,” says Donn. “I consistently anticipate aboriginal impressions absolutely count, and it absolutely counted this time. We accept had no abjure at all.”
The brace were bent to buy the house, admitting ample antagonism at the auction. They say one being who absent out came aback to them three or four times absent to buy it, but has back confused to a altered city.
“It’s a admirable abode to alive in,” says Liz. “And it’s a actual clandestine setting.”
Now, the Armstrongs are cautiously affective into a retirement village, and they’re agog to see their home go to a “sympathetic caretaker”. And, because there accept been few affairs for architectonics admirers to see the property, at 30 Newbridge Place, they are captivation an accessible home for three hours on Sunday, October 25 (12pm to 3pm) “so anyone who is absorbed in architectonics can booty a look”.
Although the appearance is untouched, the 315 square-metre abode has been bigger with the accession of bifold glazing, insulation and heating. It has three bifold bedrooms and a abstraction or fourth bedroom. There is additionally a bifold internal-access barn and a solar-heated pond pool.
“This abode was congenital with no accommodation at all,” Matt Arnold says. “Every distinct allotment of the architecture has been carefully considered. The alveolate active room, for example, (one footfall down) was accurately advised for conversation. There are no aerial lights whatsoever in this room. It’s all about creating ambient – with lamps and the fireplace. A beautiful, accessory torii axle at the access to the allowance represents the alteration from the banal to the sacred, which is rather beautiful.”
A acceptable Japanese torii axle aloft the shoji screens references the abstraction of a shrine, and the alteration amid the “mundane” and the “sacred”.
Not surprisingly, the ancestors has undertaken affluence of analysis on the house, its artist and aboriginal owner. Matt Arnold says Hall and Fletcher were life-long friends. Their fathers congenital the acclaimed Grand Chateau Tongariro, completed in 1929, with James Fletcher, (John’s father) as artist and Herbert Hall (Humphrey’s father) as architect.
Thirty years later, the two sons added to their fathers’ bequest with the allegorical Hermitage at Mount Cook – the aboriginal absolutely avant-garde auberge in New Zealand. “John Fletcher insisted aloft artistic abandon for the architects, angry with the auberge owners to accumulate the Grant Featherston furniture, apparent balk beams and plain, unpatterned carpets. He prevailed, and abounding of these appearance would arise in his own home, bristles years later.”
The owners, who are affairs the abode privately, are aperture up the abode for three hours on Sunday, October 25, 2020.
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