A Stellar Work of Midcentury Modern Architecture Is Up For Sale in New Zealand

A Stellar Work of Midcentury Modern Architecture Is Up For Sale in New Zealand

By Kathryn M.
Completed in 1963 by Hall & Mackenzie, The Japanese-inspired Fletcher House is in mint condition—and it’s packed with custom details.

New Zealand may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of midcentury-modern architecture, but the country has its share of gems. One such property, completed in 1963 by pioneering architects Humphrey Hall and Keith Mackenzie, is a feast for the eyes—complete with a Japanese-inspired floor plan, original brass and copper details, and rich mahogany and teak panelling.

Located in a quiet neighborhood of Christchurch, on New Zealand’s southern island, the Fletcher House by Hall and Mackenzie Architects is in pristine condition nearly 60 years after its 1963 completion.

A sunlit entryway leads to three bedrooms along the right side of the home, and the living areas along the left. A wall of windows overlooks the central patio and solar-heated swimming pool. 

A sunken living area features a central fireplace, exposed beams, and clerestory windows. The home’s floor plan was reportedly structured around the dimensions of tatami mats, as is common in Japan.

The home was commissioned by Hall’s longtime friends John and Beatrix Fletcher, a well-traveled couple with an affinity for Japan. At the time, John owned New Zealand's largest construction company, and he clearly spared no expense building his personal residence. Hall was inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as other modernist icons, while designing the post-and-beam structure.

Another look at the fireplace with its brass chimney cover and floating marble hearth.

Behind the fireplace, an original brass sconce hangs alongside built-in bookshelves.

A horizontal beam in the living room nods to tori, which signify sacred spaces in traditional Japanese architecture.

Subsequent owners have taken remarkable care of the home, introducing only necessary modernizations and replacing the windows, insulation, and heating system. Now the time has come to pass the keys once again, as the current owners have listed the property for sale.

The dining area is separated by translucent shoji screens and a copper-clad beam.

A copper-clad header also tops a pass-through area between the dining room and kitchen.

Behind the dining area, the kitchen features stainless-steel counters and a banquette. Windows beside the table look out onto a thriving garden planted by Beatrix Fletcher, the home’s original owner.

Offering three bedrooms plus an office, the single-story home is spread out across nearly 3,400 square feet. In the bedroom wing, a shared shower room features three water closets, while the principal bedroom has a built-in vanity and sink in the dressing area. The .33-acre lot has a swimming pool, a partially covered patio, and a large lawn. The homeowners are currently considering all reasonable offers—keep scrolling to see more of the home.

Each of the home’s three bedrooms features full-height windows overlooking the lawn and sliding glass doors.

Another bedroom offers recessed bookshelves.

Other original details have been immaculately preserved.

Outside, the swimming pool and adjacent patio are accessible from the living and dining rooms via sliding glass doors.

Another sliding glass door opens the home office to a poolside deck. Accessible from the kitchen, the office could also serve as a fourth bedroom.

Decorative molding flanks both sides of each beam in the living area.

The Fletcher House, located at 30 Newbridge Place, Ilam, Christchurch, New Zealand, is accepting offers until 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020. See the property website for more information.

Project Credits:

Architecture: Hall & Mackenzie Architects (1962-63)

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