We've received a lot of appreciative emails about our feature on the 1961 house by Ivan Juriss that features in our current issue. Despite being a very fine piece of architecture, the publicity-shy Juriss had never arranged for it to be published before. Although it features in our 'Before and After' issue, one of the best things about it is that it hasn't been altered at all. It was so good in the first place it's hard to imagine it needing any changes.

We received a tip-off about the home's existence from Julia Gatley, a lecturer at the School of Architecture at the University of Auckland who is writing a book about the influential Group Architects, of whom Juriss was a member.

The house has new owners who haven't yet furnished it, but they generously agreed to let us photograph it anyway. We called interior designer Katie Lockhart and asked her to help style the shoot with furniture from the period (thanks to Auckland's Art & Industry for supplying many of these beautiful pieces).
Simon Devitt took the photographs. In this one, you can see Juriss' clever manipulation of space, with the largely open-plan living area divided into zones with different levels and, therefore, entirely different moods. The dining area in this photo, for example, is a few steps down from a sitting zone, a gesture which makes the ceiling height appear to soar when you're at the table:


Tucked around the corner is a snug sitting area, separated from the open-plan space not by walls, but by the brick chimney. The ceiling plane ducks lower over this space, creating a much more intimate mood.


Overall, the house is a beautifully balanced composition of spaces with different moods and outlooks. Even though it was a relatively large house for its time, it is compact compared to the homes that now occupy coastal sites like it (the house is in the Auckland suburb of Glendowie), and has an efficient plan which delivers a great variety of interior and exterior experiences. One of our favourite rooms is the kitchen, with its continuation of the beautiful layering of timbers that characterises the rest of the house. Thankfully it too has been spared the indignity of an unsympathetic renovation.

 
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