One of the best-looking modern houses around, the 1960s Vladimir Cacala-designed Tapper House in Auckland City, Auckland, New Zealand, is up for sale.
And not for the first time. This midcentury modern classic was up for sale (and sold) back in 2017. It was one of my most popular finds of that year, and for good reason. It was pretty much perfect in terms of period detail and architecture. There is something about New Zealand’s modern design. You might recall the stunning Wilson House in Whanganui, New Zealand, that I featured just a few weeks back.
The authenticity of this particular design isn’t by luck. It is/was to the credit of the owner then, who took on a house that had been reworked in the 1970s – and not necessarily for the best. On the plus side, the floor space doubled due to an extension of the original design. On the downside, it was reworked in more of a 1970s style within.
The previous owner, whose parents were friends with the original architect, took on the project with the intention of bringing it back to its 1960s period glory. Everything, where possible, was put back in place. Original timber flooring, the wall panelling and the locally sourced stone. Even the original grass wallpaper.
The end result is pretty much what you see here as little changed between owners in the past six years, which is also a credit to the current seller. There is always a temptation to put your own ‘stamp’ on a house when you move in. Own furnishings aside, little of note has changed within Tapper House.
So, it remains the midcentury dream. But not some kind of museum space. This is also a very liveable and spacious family home, sitting in a private position on an elevated site at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the St Heliers area of Auckland City.
There’s so much to admire from the outside. The distinctive architecture with its walls of glass, terraces and the focus on the main living space on the upper level. That’s not just a design quirk. It’s about practicality – seeing the views over the rooftops and out to sea. I love that shade of blue for the exterior, too. Very 1960s.
It could be right off the pages of a hip interiors magazine from the mid-20th century. The attention to detail in relation to the original era is a joy to behold. And that’s not confined to the exterior. This house delivers when you get through the front door, too.
I mentioned some of the materials used for the renovation earlier, but it’s only when you see them in place do you appreciate what was done to this place. That wood panelling, the stonework, the walls of glass, the staircase, the dramatic double-height space, the light fittings, a truly amazing fireplace, the flooring and just the right amount of fixtures and fittings from the era. It doesn’t feel like a pastiche of the 1960s. It feels like you are in the 1960s.
The finishes carry on way past the reception areas. The kitchen is a joy to behold. Check out the colourful cabinets and the chequerboard flooring. Again, a step back in time but also a very functional space in the 21st century. I love the hatch from the kitchen, too.
The bedrooms are also impressive spaces, with one foot in the 1960s but the other in the modern era. Stylish, functional and with bags of character. Just like the bathrooms.
Although if you think it might be a little serious for you, then might I suggest you check out the games room. Pool, darts, hanging out and even room for a classic car. That’s my kind of space.
Talking of space, you get something in the region of 364 sq. metres of floorspace over three levels/zones, as well as a good-sized garden (which I’ll come to in a moment).
The main living space is higher up, with the more functional space down below. The recreation room dominates the ground floor. Hardly surprising if there’s room for a car and more. But beyond that, you get the hallway, an electrical room, the laundry, two further rooms, and a good-sized family room.
The hallway is a talking point in itself. It is one of the most dramatic I have seen in quite some time and is boosted by the double-height design. Ascend that wonderful staircase, and you access the main living areas.
There are three bedrooms (two with balcony access), an office space and a stunning master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and an en-suite bathroom. A further bathroom is also on this floor.
The dining room and living area, which I could talk about for some time, is on the final level. Both are open to each other, with a kitchen just off and balcony space accessible too. Picture perfect from every angle.
Finally, there’s a good-sized double garage here too, with plenty of extra off-street parking if needed. Talking of the outside, there is a porch for hanging out and enjoying the sunshine, protected from the elements by the overhanging design. There is plenty of grass around, too, which is ideal if you have kids. Yes, I did spot a football net.
I’ve always loved this one, and I hope Tapper House in Auckland City finds another sympathetic owner. If that might be you, the asking price is $3,775,000. That works out at around £1,857,000. A lot of money, but you are getting a lot of house.
Images and details courtesy of Ross at Ray White. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.