Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Wong House, 1965-67

Considered by a turn-of-the-century roundup in Home and Building Entertaining magazine to be among "The 50 Hottest [NZ] Homes of the Century" -- Megson would have been incensed to have featured down at 37 rather than straight in at number 1! -- the Wong House gave Claude his first NZIA Bronze Medal in 1969. That jury cited the creative weaving and interplay of space, which still remains.

What doesn't remain is some of the actual spaces, nor the original sculpture and stained glass, or timber weatherboards and timber joinery-- all long removed, or replaced with less sensorially delightful alternatives. Like smearing blancmange over beauty.

But that makes it no less desirable internally, nor in how it still so casually opens up the interior to its surroundings.

As the handy Megson guide describes it:
Cascading down a steeply sloping site, every room is expressed as an independent volume clad in dark-stained cedar weatherboards, the resulting composition a masterly interplay of material, line and volume.
Some of the interplay is still there, and the mastery can still at least be detected -- and in the right hands could be resurrected ...

There are open homes at the house on Saturdays and Sundays until sold (by 27 July, says the hopeful agent).

This is a fearfully difficult house to even see from the street, let alone explore. And since it is being marketed as a "create your individual home on (or over) its bones" basis, if you ever did want to see why it won for Megson an early-career Gold Medal, then these pictures and those few open homes may be your only chance.

Get along!

[Pictures from TradeMe, Ray White, Homes To Love, and the Digital Megson Guide]

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