Early history of the site
Waione is situated in Domett Avenue, Epsom within the central part of the Auckland isthmus. The site lies within a broader area occupied by Waiohua and subsequently taken over by Ngati Whatua a century before Auckland's founding in 1840 as colonial capital.
Subdivided into farms as early as 1842, Epsom became renowned for its large country homes and later as a prestigious city suburb. The land on which Domett Avenue was later formed lay within one of several Crown endowment reserves made in 1850 towards the maintenance and support of hospitals for the relief of the sick, poor and destitute. In 1875 Allotment 24 was subdivided into twelve leasehold farmlets, several of which were taken up by early colonist and Resident Magistrate Robert Clapham Barstow (1820-1890) who erected a house at what later became Domett Avenue.
Following two early twentieth-century Commissions of Inquiry into the Auckland Hospital in Grafton, and the Costley Home for the Aged Poor in Epsom, the Auckland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board (established in 1885) took steps to capitalise on its endowments in an effort to relieve mounting financial pressures. In 1906 Allotment 24 was further subdivided into the Alburnia Estate, possibly to assist with raising funds for construction of an Infirmary Ward for Incurables (1906-7) at the Costley Home . The sites were offered on 63-year leases. Interest in Epsom as a potential residential suburb reflected a broader national trend of increasing aspirations about home ownership.
Lots 48 and 49 on the south side of Domett Avenue were taken up by a George Sandeman of Remuera, but the lease was revoked in 1909 due to non-payment of rent. Land agent Arthur Frater (1882?-1957) became the new lessee.
Frater was a son of Parnell resident and former seafarer Captain Walter Frater (1837?-1924) who owned a real estate business in Auckland's Queen Street. In 1909 Arthur married May Hesketh (1885?-1971), a daughter of Auckland barrister Samuel Hesketh (1842-1939). Well-connected Samuel Hesketh was a senior partner in the law firm Hesketh and Richmond, a local body politician and a longstanding member of the Auckland Anglican Synod.
Construction of Waione (1910-11)
In circa 1910 Frater commissioned the erection of a single-storey cottage on Lot 48. Known as Waione, the Arts and Crafts-style residence was designed by the Auckland architectural partnership of Bamford and Pierce. Construction appears to have been underway by October 1910.
Waione's low-sweeping roof, shingled gables, slender brick chimneys and sash windows with divided top sash reflected the influence of eminent English Arts and Crafts architects such as C.F.A. Voysey (1857-1941), and the slightly later Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) under whom New Zealand-born and Auckland-trained architects Bamford and Pierce had studied. The house adopted a variation of the butterfly floor plan. A similar concept had been used by Bamford in 1907 for the storey-and-a-half Arts and Crafts-inspired residence known as Ngahere in nearby Mountain Road. Both residences were a departure from the predominant New Zealand house style of the time, which consisted of a villa planned around a central linear hall.
Popular for Arts and Crafts residential designs in England in the 1890s, the X-shaped butterfly plan traditionally had wings projecting symmetrically at angles from a central core. The concept, combining ideas of modern functionalism and notions of the picturesque, was an appropriation of the palazzo plan, modified to gain solar access and views. The style was popular for Edwardian country houses, a dwelling type for which Edwin Lutyens was particularly well known. From circa 1906, about the time initially Bamford and then Pierce spent time in his office, the later knighted Sir Edwin began to achieve the recognition that was to make him the leading architect of his generation in England.
By comparison with Ngahere, the roof line of Waione was comparatively simple and adopted a hierarchy of gables off the main ridge. The building stood on stone foundation walls which had terracotta vents rather than the metal vents in more common use. In Britain from the 1870s onwards, terracotta was a material favoured for buildings of the Arts and Crafts style. In keeping with philosophies preferring use of local building traditions and materials, Waione was clad with timber weatherboard - the vernacular material of the wider Auckland area - although gable ends were shingled. The line of the low-sweeping slate roof was broken by tall brick chimneys. Notwithstanding that casement windows were generally the preferred style for Arts-and-Crafts-style houses - the provision of lights in the upper sash was generally accepted as a satisfactory and economic compromise to avoid the large sheet glass sash windows. Similar sash windows were also associated with the Queen Anne Revival style that developed in England in circa 1870, and adopted in New Zealand from the 1880s.
At the time of its construction, Waione was described as containing six main rooms - three bedrooms, drawing room, dining room, kitchen - in addition to a bathroom, a small storeroom and a laundry. Each bedroom, the drawing room and the dining room had an open fireplace.
The bedrooms and bathroom were located in Waione's north wing - the bathroom appears to have occupied the northeast corner. The central portion contained an entrance hall and drawing room. A dining room appears to have occupied the southern area, while service rooms - largely a kitchen, although there may also have been a scullery and pantry - were located in a wing to the west.
The front door opened from a formal west-facing porch into a rectangular entrance hall which had a pressed metal ceiling, a popular decorative feature in New Zealand after 1900. Off the south side of the entrance hall was a smaller lobby or passage to the dining room, and to the kitchen area. The drawing room off the east side of the hall opened onto a largely east-facing return verandah. A set of steps off the south end of the verandah led to the garden on the adjoining lot.
A small building at right angles to the west wing at the rear of the house is likely to have been constructed as a laundry or utility building.
Bamford and Pierce partnership and works (circa 1908-1916)
Noel Bamford (1881-1952) and Hector Pierce (1879-1918) were born in New Zealand and received their early architectural training in Auckland. They were the first of four young New Zealand-born architects to gain work experience in the office of English architect Edwin Lutyens, a leading exponent of the English Domestic Revival style. Upon Bamford's return to Auckland in 1906 and Pierce's arrival home the following year, an architectural partnership was formed at an unknown date before March 1908. Drawing from the best of the English Arts and Crafts tradition, Bamford and Pierce formulated architectural designs for a New Zealand context.
The English Arts and Crafts movement was adopted in New Zealand in the early years of the twentieth century and appealed to those who saw themselves as building a new Britain. The style fused concerns about status with matters of beauty was initially taken up by the Dominion's well-to-do Edwardians. It continued to influence domestic architecture in the 1920s with houses of English appearance continuing to be constructed until circa 1935.
The Bamford and Pierce partnership was renowned for its residential works and benefited from strong family networks with sections of Auckland's social and professional elite. Architect Hector Pierce's late father George was prominent in Diocesan affairs. The practice's most prestigious commission was Neligan House, an English Domestic Revival-style residence constructed at Parnell in 1909-1910 as Auckland's new Bishopscourt. Another client - for the construction of a house in St George's Bay Road (Record no. 2634, Category II historic place) - was Dr Kinder, a vestryman of St Mary's Cathedral Church and an officeholder on Church of England charitable boards including the Melanesian Mission Trust and the Leslie Orphanage Trust, as was Arthur Frater's father William.
Several of the firm's commissions appear to have had Hesketh Richmond connections. Other than Waione, these included houses at Ngahere, 74 Mountain Road (1907-8), and Woodend at Gilgit Road (circa 1914-15). The latter was designed as the home of lawyer and academic Dr Dean Bamford, architect Noel Bamford's brother. Ngahere was built for Dean Bamford's sister-in-law.
Houses designed for other wealthy professionals included Coolingatta, Remuera Road (1911, recently demolished) for a surveyor; residences at Dilworth Avenue, Remuera (demolished) and Pencarrow Avenue, Mt Eden, both circa 1910 for stockbrokers; and dwellings at Brightside Road, Epsom, in circa 1915 for an accountant and Arney Road (Record no. 604, Category II historic Place) in circa 1911 for a mining engineer. Like the real estate business in which Arthur Frater was engaged, these professions flourished during Auckland's decades of economic growth following the depression of the 1880s and early to mid 1890s.
Subsequent use and modifications
A motor garage was constructed on the Waione property at early date. In 1915 the lease for the two-lot holding was amended to include May Frater as joint lessee. A tennis court was developed on Lot 49 in circa 1921 and unspecified additions and alterations were made to the house in 1928-9. A drainage plan suggests that this work involved an enlargement and rearrangement of the bathroom area to take in part of the verandah. It may or may not have involved an extension at the northeast corner of the house.
In June 1947, a Helen Hammer bought the lease and enlarged the master bedroom by incorporating the remaining verandah space. The following year the property suffered fire damage costing £950 to reinstate. The kitchen wing was extended westward.
Briefly changing hands in 1955, the lease was transferred again and in 1962 Lots 48 and 49 were merged. Following a subdivision of the property in 1964, two blocks of flats were constructed on the new eastern land parcel, leaving Waione without its tennis court and much of its gardens.
Subsequent works over five decades included alterations to accommodate a fourth bedroom, modern bathroom facilities, an open-plan kitchen and dining area with greater indoor-outdoor access, generally achieved with minimal change to the building's overall exterior form. The addition of a bedroom in 1963 appears to have involved conversion of the bathroom area in the northeast of the house and the incorporation of part of the central passage and possibly part of a verandah. The outbuilding is referred to as a housekeeper's bach at around this time. In 1971 a laundry was added to the house and a minor addition made to the kitchen. In 1972, the original garage was replaced by a carport.
An almost contemporary valuation report describes the dwelling as, 'designed by the Late Mr. Noel Bamford, a well known Auckland Architect, 60 years ago'. Omission of reference to Pierce may be attributed to the five-decade lapse since his death in 1918. Waione is described as, 'a most attractive, elegant House where the old is blended with the new to provide gracious living'. The 1971 report notes the residence has four bedrooms, an entrance hall and television room, drawing room, lounge, study and smoking room, dining room, large kitchen and a laundry. There were built-in bookshelves in the study-cum-smoking-room. The lounge had a built-in window seat, open fireplace and was separated from the drawing room by four glass-panelled doors. Reference was also made to a dining room with a service wall of stained woodwork with cupboards and drawers to dresser height and shelves above to the ceiling. The outbuilding incorporated a small self-contained flat.
The property was transferred from the Auckland Hospital Board to private owners in 1992. In 1997 the kitchen and dining area in the west wing was redeveloped and extended to provide a new laundry and patios off an open-plan kitchen and family room. The 1970s carport was demolished, a swimming pool was installed in the rear outdoor living area and new garaging was built at the front of the site. The property remains in use as a private residence.
Waione is situated on the south side of Domett Avenue, Epsom, an inner suburb of Auckland. Located to the southeast of Auckland's main city centre, Epsom is largely a residential area in which a number of recognised historic houses are located. Domett Avenue is a small suburban street that runs east-west between Manukau Road and Gillies Avenue. It contains a mix of century-old homes, circa 1960s residential unit development and substantial new residences.
A short distance away within the wider locality are Florence Court (Record no. 7106, Category II historic place) a grand circa 1907 residence in Omana Avenue. The dwellings Ngahere (1907-8) and Stoneways (1925), and the Auckland Grammar School (Record nos. 4471, 4472, Category I historic places, and Record no. 4532, Category II historic place) are located in Mountain Road. Rannoch (Record no. 7198, Category II historic place) built circa 1914 to the design of architect James Lloyd occupies a site nearby in Almorah Road. A number of older significant nineteenth-century gentlemanly estate houses survive in the Epsom area. These include Highwic (Record no.18, Category I historic place), Clifton (Record no. 2623, Category I historic place), Marivare, Rocklands Hall (Record no. 7276, Category I historic place) and Rockwood. On Mount St John a short distance to the east of Domett Avenue is Prospect (Record no.527, Category II historic place), a circa 1866 dwelling. In addition to the Arts and Crafts style Ngahere designed by Noel Bamford and Rannoch designed by architect James Lloyd, the former Auckland Grammar School caretaker's house and architect William Gummer's own residence Stoneways also suggest Arts and Crafts influences in aspects of their design.
Waione is largely screened from Domett Avenue by a garage, two large camphor laurel trees and hedging along the north and west boundaries. The east elevation is obscured by a timber fence and plantings. Apart from the camphor laurels in the front yard and some brick garden edgings adjoining the east side of the house, little of the earlier garden survives. Parts of the house may be glimpsed from Domett Avenue. Due to the open character of development on the adjoining property, much the west elevation is visible from Gillies Avenue.
The residence occupies a rectangular-shaped plot of approximately 1300 square metres. The site has a marginal cross fall to the south and east. The ground level of the rear outdoor living area has been built-up slightly. The main building is centrally located on the site and, due to its unusual design, sits close to both side boundaries in places. The building's shape and the current garden layout effectively produces three spaces of varying formality. An outbuilding is located at right angles to the west wing of the main structure, and a substantial garage of modern design is located in the northeast corner of the property.
Main building - exterior
The main residence consists of a single-storey timber building of Arts and Crafts design. The structure largely retains its original butterfly-plan footprint comprised of two irregularly orientated wings which radiate from a substantial central section. The building is clad with timber weatherboards, has shingled gables and a slate roof. It stands on perimeter foundation walls of basalt.
The structure's distinctive floor plan contributes to the overall number and character of the elevations. Some of the elevations are simple while other incorporate well articulated angles and bays. The subtle directional change of the main ridge of the roof combined with east and west-facing gables and tall brick chimneys contribute to the visual interest and aesthetic appeal of the place. The northern portion of the east elevation has been significantly modified by the infilling of the verandahs and re-use of windows in the resulting outer walls. The northeast and the west elevations of the north wing, and the elevations of the central section of the house are little altered. The west wing - the west end of which was lengthened about 50 years ago - contains a modern kitchen and living area recently extended to the south and which now opens onto north and south-facing patios. A recent flat-roofed addition at the southwest corner of the wing abuts the outbuilding (described below).
The building's exterior illustrates the attention to detail and design skill for which the architectural practice of Bamford and Pierce were renowned. A hood moulding on the west elevation of the north wing takes the form of a shaped weatherboard extending across the heads of two discrete window openings, and is an unusual feature of notable subtlety and simplicity. A similar hood mould occurs above a window on the south elevation, with another on the near chimney. This apparently simple feature illustrates skilled design and craftsmanship in timber.
Attention to detail is also evident in the terracotta vents in the basalt foundation walls. The vents of two different styles (grid and louvre) marry well with the brick chimneys and earthenware chimney pots, enhancing the overall sense of order and the aesthetic quality of Waione's design.
Skilled craftsmanship and design is also evident in shingling in the north east gable which extends down to provide a hood for the west window. A large diamond pattern illustrates the use of a simple material to enhance aesthetic appeal. The design of an oculus with cornice piece on the east gable may be particular to the architects and the building. A deep soffit of the east gable also enhances the overall effect.
The flared roof of the formal entrance porch towards the south end of the west elevation is supported by a pair of Tuscan columns. The front door and side panels - each with 12 lights - and the columns reference Queen Anne Revival influences still popular at the time.
Main building - interior
Notwithstanding alterations to the bedroom wing (east side), the hall (south end) and west wing (west end), the house retains its overall basic layout and circulation pattern along with much internal detailing.
The central and southern section of the dwelling contains the main entrance hall, two living rooms and a recently developed study.
The front door opens into a large rectangular entrance hall, the south wall of which has been removed. The hall has a honeycomb-pattern pressed metal ceiling divided into rectangles by narrow timber mouldings. The central panel of the ceiling has broad timber margins incorporating simple openwork for ventilation. Off the south end of the hall are a living room (which may be the former dining room), a new study and the kitchen wing. The east wall of the hall opens into the drawing room. Off the north side of the hall a door - reminiscent in style to the front door in an adjoining wall - opens into a broad central passage serving three bedrooms, an en-suite and a bathroom in the north wing. The fourth bedroom (the smallest) is located off the north side of the entrance hall. The door, with four panels one under the other, is of a design that is standard throughout the house. Wide architraves of distinctive profile, and original skirting boards survive throughout much of the house.
The southernmost of the linked living rooms has an east-facing bay window with built-in seat. The timber ceiling has battens of a distinctive profile and a rectangular vent of timber incorporating cut openings. The ceiling is of the same style as those in the adjoining room, the north passage and three of the four bedrooms. The fireplace on the south wall of the room has been modernised but retains its free-standing grate and quarry tile hearth which is enclosed by a timber edge with metallic finish of some age. A door opens from this room into to southern end of the expanded hall space. Four glass-panelled doors connect the southernmost living room with the drawing room to the north.
The drawing room retains its original timber mantelpiece to which a mirror has recently been added. The fireplace has been modified and rebuilt. Broad sliding doors open from the drawing room into the entrance hall. A door also opens from the northeast corner of the drawing room onto a small porch off which is a flight of steps.
Sleeping and Ablutions Area
The north wing of the house contains the bathroom and four bedrooms, one with an en-suite. The wide central passage has a pair of storage cupboards that are part of the original design. The passage may have originally run the full length of the wing, but now terminates in a fourth bedroom (original bathroom). The bedroom has an en-suite, and French doors off a small east-facing addition. The two rooms to the south are a bathroom (which may originally have been a side hall and which incorporates part of the former verandah); and the former master bedroom. The latter room has been enlarged to take in the former verandah space to the north and east. The fireplace has been removed, but the chimney breast remains.
The northwest bedroom off the west side of the passage retains a pair of built-in wardrobes on either side of blocked-off chimney breast. The smallest bedroom, accessed from the entrance hall, retains its fireplace with a small distinctive Tudoresque-style freestanding grate. The brick fire-surround has been plastered over. Formerly a study and smoking room, the room has built-in timber shelving and small cupboard of unknown date.
The west wing at right angles to the south end of the house contains an open-plan family room-kitchen. A recent addition at the southwest corner incorporates a laundry and provides access to a south-facing patio. A patio addition on the north side of the wing is also accessed by glass doors. The wing interior has largely been replaced, although the east end of the space retains windows and remnants of joinery including a plain deep skirting board, a door and wide architraves.
The outbuilding (now sleep-out) was part of the architects' original design, and is a rare survival. Externally, it has a weatherboard cladding, a corrugated metal roof and - like the main building - basalt footings. It has had French doors added to the east elevation, and evidence of former openings in the south wall.
Internally, the structure has been fitted with a kitchen sink-bench in the southwest corner. The bench area is separated from the main space by a narrow partition wall. Partitioned off in the north end of the structure are toilet, shower and wash hand basin. The main section of the building has a circa mid twentieth-century ceiling and linings and a concrete floor. A casement window catch on the toilet window is of a style found at Ngahere (1907-8), but appears to be the only such fitting at Waione where sash windows were used.
1910 - 1911
House and outbuilding
Porch incorporated in master bedroom; porch constructed in former verandah space (off drawing room)
Fourth bedroom added
Family room/kitchen; new study
Stone foundation walls, concrete piles, timber frame, weatherboard and shingle cladding, brick chimneys, slate roof (house), corrugated metal roof (sleep-out)
23rd March 2010
Report Written By
Lloyd Jenkins, 2004
Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, At Home: A Century of New Zealand Design. Auckland: Random House, 2004
Peter Shaw, New Zealand Architecture: From Polynesian Beginnings to 1990, Auckland, 1991
G.W.A Bush, (ed.), The History of Epsom, Auckland, 2006
Robin Cooke (ed.), Portrait of a Profession: The Centennial Book of the New Zealand Law Society, Wellington, 1969
A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Northern Region Office
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.