September 18, 2006

It was the oddest house

In the weekend we went over to Napier, and had a lovely holiday with friends. We visited relatives, played in playgrounds and walked around observing art deco buildings. On the Sunday however, we saw the most amazing residential building ever.

It belongs to R's friend's parents, and was built by Dad forty years ago. It has two roofs, Stacked on top of each other, though one of them is only partial and is propped up by some beams. It has windows that are at least 2 inches smaller than the window frame, so very draughty. It has dormer windows that open onto the lower roof. In places the walls don't actually meet the roof, so there is clear air under the eaves. There were holes in the ceiling that looked really old, where someone had stepped through the ceiling. The loo door was set in a wall with no door frame, and the loo had somehow ended up not centered, but is in it's room on an angle. The bath is not a claw foot bath, but is unsurrounded, and propped up on bricks or something. There was a staircase that went up to the second roof. But no-where else we could see, just a staircase to the tin roof.

And they are apparently not poor, but are quite wealthy and this is the way they choose to live. they have expensive english antiques in the house, and some large real persian rugs too. But we can't imagine they live in the whole house, as some of it is impossible to heat due to the large holes in the fabric of the house. Most of it would be abandoned for the winter.

There is a granny cottage on the property, and that is perfectly normal.

We were so overwhelmed by the place, we had to have a debrief last night and check we were not hallucinating. And check what each other had seen. And then we talked about how a real estate agent would describe it. Unique? Having potential? full of character? Unsalvagable? An outbulding?

The council would certainly never permit anyone to build like that now - but I do wonder if it has ever had a building permit.

Posted by Toni at September 18, 2006 12:40 PM