Sir Miles Warren

PHOTO: This small block of 1950s flats designed by Sir Miles Warren for himself and three friends has a Category 1 Historic Place listing. A massive post-earthquake restoration was completed last year. FIRST NATIONAL

In a thrilling auction event, a highly sought-after Mid-century flat located in a Christchurch block designed by the late Sir Miles Warren has successfully been sold for an impressive price of $635,000. to launch real estate industry recruitment site

This particular unit, classified as a Historic Place Category 1-listed flat in the renowned Dorset Street Flats, garnered significant attention and attracted 31 bids. As the bidding progressed, two determined final bidders engaged in a spirited competition until the very end.

The historical significance of the building adds to its allure, as it dates back to 1956-1957 when Sir Miles Warren designed the flats for himself and three close companions. Remarkably, this sale marks the first time this specific unit has been transferred outside the family.

Regarded as a prominent example of post-earthquake restorations, the small block of 1950s flats designed by Sir Miles Warren himself and his friends holds a prestigious Category 1 Historic Place listing. These flats, representing the “Christchurch School of post-war architecture,” are rarely available on the market. The listing emphasizes that they symbolize the emergence of a new era of residential living in New Zealand, introducing purpose-designed, modern, and modest-sized one-bedroom city flats that embrace minimalistic living.

The extensive restoration of the flats, completed by Young Architects after two-and-a-half years of construction, adds to their appeal. Notably, the flats have their own dedicated website. Craig Garlick, the current owner of the flat previously occupied by Sir Miles Warren, expressed his delight at the successful outcome, stating, “The journey has been long and occasionally frustrating, but the results are truly rewarding. These buildings hold immense significance in our national narrative, both in terms of design and architecture, as well as the lifestyle choices of urban dwellers.”

Katharine Burrell of First National, who listed the property alongside James Abell of First National Progressive, highlighted that the restoration work aimed to preserve the original character of the flats. For instance, the kitchen still boasts open shelving with sliding doors and cut-out finger pulls. The painted concrete block walls and a wall of timber shelving with a built-in writing desk have been meticulously maintained. Additionally, certain interior walls exhibit board-formed concrete, showcasing the thoughtful design choices made back in 1956 that remain relevant and captivating to this day. The original stables located behind the flats have been reconstructed as garages, and communal laundry facilities are also available.

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Pricing the one-bedroom 50m² flat proved challenging for the agent, as its value extends far beyond mere bricks and mortar. The flat embodies a timeless appeal and holds a significant place in architectural history, making it a truly exceptional acquisition.


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