Wednesday, 28 January 2009

3/64 Hapua St, Remuera – Claude Megson

This small Megson townhouse is on the market - one that came on the market a year or so back, and was bought and 'renovated' unsympathetically, fortunately only on a small scale, by a graduate architect who had no idea what she was working with.

By craftily making the most of view shafts and ‘shared spaces,’ Megson made this small, contained location feel like a large estate.

Now that it’s back on the market, a sympathetic buyer would be able to easily rehabilitate it. Sale details are here. Agent's blurb reads:

Remuera - Writers, Artists, Architects.
3/64 Hapua St

Open Homes: Sat 31 Jan 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Sun 01 Feb 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Auction at L4, 50 Kitchener St, City on 25/02/2009 at 11:00am Unless sold prior
Architect Claude Megson created this sublime artistic retreat in the 1960s. Fitting like a glove into the Remuera hillside just below Arney Crescent, it's within easy walking distance of Parnell & Newmarket. Despite a compact floorplan, you'll be amazed how light & airy it feels. You'll discover several private spots perfect for reading & relaxing. Although every house-hunting single or couple should see this, the next owner is more likely to be someone who appreciates the architectural significance of a Megson.
  Cross-posted at The Claude Megson Blog.


  1. What is the outside cladding on this?

  2. As far as I can recall, it was originally screw-fixed fibrolite sheeting with neoprene seals under exposed joints. You can still see it on the other two townhouses in the group, and in contemporary houses built by The Group Architects.

    Looks like the "graduate architect" has added corrugated iron and a textured coating -- which looks similar to what Megson used on the Norris House.

    On the question of why he was using low-cost materials, Megson was always trying to do more with less. Architecture wasn't about pouring as catalogue out over the set of plans, but in the arrangement of spaces ands their relation to the world around them.

    For him, the luxury in a house was the way space was arranged -- not the expense of the materials used.

  3. Oh well, that is what happens when you put females in charge of things, alas...

  4. Elijah, Claude Megson is not a woman!

  5. I use the same hardiflex plus neoprene seal on my houses too. We used the seal in IBS.

    I understand it is no longer allowed, which is a pity because it is a wonderful seal and with buffered edges and rounded corners on the sheets,produces a crisp and stylish outcome from a low cost material.

    I was in the Auckland City Council planning dept when Claude came in with his sketch plans and I was on front desk duty that day. He said "I don't imagine you will let me do this but I'lll give it a go"
    So we went through it and I showed him how with a few minor tweaks it would sail through. He just about fell over.
    IN those days we actually "enabled" people to realise their dreams. Now that everyone trying to do anything is obviously trying to destroy the planet applicants are treated like scum and legally officers are not allowed to offer assistance unless they build false hopes.
    We need to return to the enabling approach - which funnily enough is what section 5 of the RMA requires. But it is conveniently overlooked by the fee grinders.


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