Harptree which is situated in Roslyn Dunedin, is the house Hooper designed for himself and his family and where they lived until they relocated to Auckland in 1923. It was named after the village and house of his father’s birth in Somerset, England, a home Hooper visited on his return to England to study in 1901. Hooper was unafraid to reuse design elements in his buildings and Harptree has many similarities to Dick house in the chimneys and Fisher house in the large sweeping roof on the east-facing street frontage. Harptree is mainly roughcast with brick below the windows, which is seen often in later Hooper designs.
As the upper floor plan shows, Harptree has three bedrooms packed into the small available space. No maids’ bedroom was indicated on the plans as was to be expected for families of means at the time. Harptree is a house of Arts and Crafts grand architecture on a miniature scale. Hooper has made the most of the available space; the sides of the house are set right up against the boundaries of the narrow section and the rooms are relatively small and few in number. Hooper’s economy of design which runs through much of his work in different ways has, in Harptree been expressed through the exclusion of unneeded extras such as a live-in servant’s quarters, while still including a small domestic workroom on the ground floor.
Hooper designs showcase a new form of planning more similar to that experienced by most New Zealanders today than the previous Victorian model, and Hooper’s own home is the realisation of what he considered both ideal and necessary in architecture.