Guisnes Court

532 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

  • Guisnes Court, October 1981. From: NZHPT Field Record Forms. Auckland City Council.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: C Cochran.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 598 Date Entered 26th November 1981

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 15 DP 11135 (CT 319677), North Auckland Land District, and the building and structures known as Guisnes Court thereon. Extent excludes the garage in the southeast corner of the property.

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)

Region

Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 15 DP 11135 (CT 319677), North Auckland Land District

Summaryopen/close

Laid out around a spacious salon, the unusually grand townhouse known as Guisnes Court was designed in 1914 by the architect Roy Keith Binney (1886-1957) for his mother. The design of the house is a mixture of Neo-Georgian and Arts and Crafts styles and was heavily influenced by the eminent English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, under whom Binney studied in England. It was Binney’s first design in Auckland and is significant in that it helped bring the Arts and Crafts style into the domestic mainstream, whilst also maintaining Remuera’s reputation as one of the city’s most fashionably built suburbs. Binney is considered important for influencing a whole generation of Auckland architects and for ‘bringing to the city’s domestic architecture a greater sense of style than had previously been evident.’ As exemplified by Guisnes Court, Binney consciously designed in an English style, at a time when ties between New Zealand and Britain were strengthening during the First World War (1914-18).

Remuera has been associated with the settlement of rich and successful Aucklanders since the middle of the nineteenth century. From about 1900, the palatial houses of the richest settlers of the 1800s made room for the smaller, but grander townhouses of the city’s commercial or industrial elite. The development of the site to an urban environment started in 1884 with the acquisition of large allotments in the area, amounting to over four acres. In 1915 the property was subdivided into seventeen separate lots. One of these was acquired by Mary Binney, widow of the successful auctioneer George W. Binney. She commissioned her son, Roy, returned from studying architecture in Europe, to design a house for her.

Roy Binney’s European work between 1908 and 1912 had been in the office of the English architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens; his design for Guisnes Court was very much influenced by Lutyens. The soaring roof planes clad with Marseilles tiles, bold chimneys and red brick exterior walls are of the English Arts and Crafts style, giving a grand country cottage quality to the building; however, much of the rear fenestration and the large French doors, with an ornate, semi-circular transom above are of Neo-Georgian styling. Both styles are an indication of Lutyens’ influence. The house had twelve rooms, laid out around a grand salon. The master bedroom looked out from a covered balcony, or loggia, to the garden. Construction was completed by September 1915.

After the First World War, Roy lived at the house with his mother; after Mary’s death in 1925, the house was sold and has passed through the hands of several owners. In 1927 a garage was built on the Remuera Road frontage; parts of the interior were remodelled in 1938. In 1976 the building was split into two separate residences and later, in 1978, the main bedroom’s loggia extended. In 2001 the building was converted back into one residence and the garden extensively remodelled; the loggia was also rebuilt. In 2007, the garage was demolished and a new garage built.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

Roy Binney

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1915 -

Additional building added to site
1927 -
Garage added to site

Modification
1938 -
Some house interiors remodelled

Modification
-
House split into two residences and the main bedroom’s loggia extended

Modification
2000 -
House converted back to a single residence. Large-scale remodelling of the garden

Partial Demolition
2007 -
1920s garage demolished and larger garage erected

Completion Date

2nd June 2015

Report Written By

Andrew Winter

Information Sources

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald, 12 July 1932, p. 6; 28 September 1933, p. 6.

New Zealand Herald, 15 September 1915, p. 9.

Carlyon and Morrow, 2011

Carlyon, Jenny, and Diana Morrow, A Fine Prospect: A History of Remuera, Meadowbank and St Johns, Auckland, 2011.

New Zealand Architectural Review

R. K. Binney, ‘In New Zealand - The English Tradition: Some Houses Designed by R.K. Binney’, Architectural Review 61, May 1927, pp. 172-6.

Stacpoole, 2013

Stacpoole, John, 'Binney, Roy Keith', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara -the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 5-..Jun-2013 (URL: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4b32/binney-roy-keith.)

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand