Spare, modest and rational – this Christchurch home stays true to its Modernist principles half a century after it was built.

Masservy House was in an entirely original state when it was bought by its current owners, graphic designer and vet, Matt and Kate Arnold.

Designed in 1964 by local architect Allan Mitchener – a proponent of the Christchurch School of architecture, which fused Scandinavian notions of ‘straightforwardness’ and Modernist ideals governing flowing space and natural light – it uses a material palette of painted concrete blocks, fair face concrete and timber detailing.

The couple restored and gently modernised the 180 sqm property last year. New cork flooring and kitchen countertops have been fitted, and parts of the house’s original paint scheme have been reinstated, alongside new Swedish wallpaper.

Master bedroom, on a mezzanine level
Photography: Sam Hartnett

At the heart of the 4-bedroom house is a double-height living and dining room, complete with original brick fireplace and woodburning stove. A mezzanine master-bedroom overlooks the space, while on the ground-floor, glass doors lead out onto a private garden.

The property is on the market privately for $630,000. ‘Our hope, in selling the home privately and not going through the auction rooms, is to find new owners who appreciate it as much as we do and who enjoy it for many years to come,’ say the Arnolds.

Commissioning editor at The Spaces.

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