greaseproof architecture since 2000

Vernon Brown house to fall

vernon brown
33 Kitchener Road, one of my faves from a childhood spent ambling back and forward along the Takapuna foreshore, by Group Architects member Vernon Brown, is to be demolished. This follows 20 years after a similar house by Ivan Juriss nearby was shipped out to the countryside, no longer appropriate for the skyrocketing property values on the foreshore.

Brown and Juriss were both members of Group Architects, an informal squad of academic architects who dominated the Auckland Architecture School during the 50s and 60s. Their housing was simple, modern, and monopitch. It was an introduction to Modernism via the modesty of the beachfront bach.

Vernon Brown’s trademark style was locally known as the ‘Brown Box’, a creosoted monopitch home with large white framed windows. This 150 sqm 1942 house is one of the most well-known.

vernon brown

Disappointing in the extreme, the demolition application has sailed through the North Shore City Council with no requirement for notification, meaning that there is no advertising period for objections.

Architectural Group Manifesto (PDF)
Exhibition in Housing Film 1950 (WMV)
Council Minutes 18 August
Real Estate Photo Gallery
Vernon Brown Bio

vernon brown

vernon brown

vernon brown

vernon brown

vernon brown

vernon brown

These copyrighted photographs are redisplayed under the fair use provisions of copyright law – for discussion and preservation.

» External Link

Posted by Peter on 19.09.09 in 



End of the world bum trip. Nice house. Seen it in the flesh – AG were the real deal and hardcore barbers.

by hairdresser on 09.09.20, 09:11 pm ·#

yep hd these blokes were certainly on to something

by cabbie on 09.09.23, 01:00 pm ·#

word is council vetoed proposal to move house off site as trees would have been damaged. Lucky pohutukawas!

by peter on 09.09.23, 01:17 pm ·#

its a fcuken tragedy when u think about it.
that house was for its times but like a fish out of water now – but hd guarantees – only just ahead of a time around the corner too. Caught in the cross hairs of an short era of idiocy.

by hairdresser on 09.09.26, 11:59 am ·#

So very sad… One point, Vernon Brown wasn’t a member of the Group (he was a mentor and teacher for them). Not that it makes any difference to the destruction of an impt and much-loved house.

by Justine on 09.10.02, 06:24 pm ·#

Thanks Justine. I used to know that. Addled brain.

by peter on 09.10.03, 01:56 am ·#

A rumour has flown into my inbox. The house was meant to be listed by council but a mistake was made and the neighbour ended up registered. Sounds like quite a blooper. The neighbour is a group house, but heavily altered. Can anyone verify?

by peter on 09.10.05, 03:00 pm ·#

i used to visit the house as a child and loved it. i remember saying that one day i wish it were mine.. i return to NZ on holiday and find it gone.. tragedy!

by bettina Garnier on 10.02.23, 10:10 pm ·#

I once bought a genuine Vernon Brown house from a Remmers estate…. it ended up unloved in a North Shore Houseshifter’s yard after they stole it from me during a spell of illness…. might even still be in the yard…. Hint 1 try 095782968 for further info. Hint 2, phone anyway, ‘cos I have a genuine Malcolm-Smith group house needing an, er, “good home”.
I dunno why more folks don’t get into relocating houses…. it isn’t difficult (well, no more difficult than the Effing bureaucrats make it for us human merely beings)… and you don’t absolutely HAVE TO try and lever Mike Rose out of architecturally-practiced retirement to sort a project…. although I must admit it does help to secure the services of somebody with experience in proper carpentering and proper houseshifting.

by Mike Rose on 12.01.14, 02:39 pm ·#

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