Westminster Court is a quintessential 1930s apartment building, located opposite the High Court in Parliament Street, Auckland Centre. It looks up the road past the oak trees which line the street to Old Government House and the University.
The apartment was purchased with a view to short term rental. From the commencement of the restoration, the vision was to create an apartment, which upon entering, transported the tenant back into the 1930s, to a time of gentlemen, simple rewards, relaxation and retreat and the pleasure of one’s own environment.
This apartment was to reflect the emergence of American Deco with a nod to the French Art Deco movement. There was however to be no compromise on modern convenience living and comfort.
A building built with 1-2 foot concrete walls, painted closed casement windows, an aged wooden floor, ancient plumbing and minimal electrical sockets, has its challenges. All rooms were almost totally gutted with painstaking removal of deep skirtings, scraping back to the plaster of irregular walls and total removal of the kitchen and bathroom.
The rewiring included multiple Bakelite Art Deco sockets and switches in each room, full internet and television capability, renewal of the phone connection and preservation of the front entry door release. The door release is the only original item remaining in the apartment.
The relocation of the toilet and installation of a pull chain variety with high cistern, necessitated challenging drain installation. The hot water cylinder was cleverly disguised in a new partially dropped ceiling. The kitchen hides the microwave behind the meat safe, with fully integrated fridge and freezer. The hob is fairly rudimentary, but functional. Storage runs to the floor, including drawers behind the skirtings with no toekick. A butler’s sink completes the look with two windows to the street and downtown.
The library paper was a challenge in the project. The picture rail was removed and reinstated in the exact position of the ‘shelves’ with the corners painted in the exact colour of the wallpaper shelves.
A collection of neutrals from light through to dark was used, with the entry in Resene Armadillo, the library in Resene Armadillo, bedroom in Resene Surrender, trim in a striking Resene Black gloss and ceilings in Resene Hint Of Grey.
Resene Hint Of Grey
Building contractor: Duane Sager
Interior designer: Dawn Justice
Painting contractor: Peter Mistleberger
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