Riverhead Synergy, Auckland

A series of glass galleries overlooking a tidal estuary, this luxurious rural retreat reveals its riches little by little.

Down a narrow, tree-lined driveway at the end of a cul-de-sac, in a pretty special subdivision on the edge of an estuary, sits a house that the seed of an idea built. A busy working couple seeking to leave their Auckland City abode for the quiet calm of Riverhead half an hour North, its owners had held onto this unique piece of land while they let their wish-list germinate.

They dreamed of a country retreat that would be a luxurious dwelling for two, yet expand to welcome their older children, future grandchildren and guests when they came to stay. The spectacular result of their imagination and that of Young & Richards Architecture, project-led by Harriet Pilkington and Elvon Young, is a three-wing, four-bedroom work of art – a series of glass galleries that unveil a breathtaking view one step at a time.