Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lopdell House Revisited

Ref: Auckland Libraries, front exterior view, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0033
Several months have passed since the great unveiling of plastic wrap from the exterior of Lopdell House, Titirangi, which is part of the newly named Lopdell Precinct. I was curious to see inside the building following its renovation, restoration and seismic strengthening.

The entrance foyer, with its floor of decorative tiles and sweeping circular staircase provided an impressive welcome.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, spiral staircase, hanging lights and tiled entrance foyer viewed from level 2, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0004
The ground floor room, which was formerly occupied by Lopdell House Gallery with its wall of arches, windows along its length and highly polished reclaimed kauri timber floor, is earmarked for a café/restaurant.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, Interior wall arches, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries,TITI-D-2014-0021
The Upstairs Art Gallery is open on the first floor and offers both member exhibitions and local artist shows in an intimate, light-filled space. Constantly changing views over the Manukau Harbour through sash windows contribute to the ambience.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, Upstairs Art Gallery, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0026
Listen to a soundbite of gallery manager Teena Speedy talking about how the gallery engages with the community.

Heritage features retained in the renovation include an original bath from the 1930s Hotel Titirangi.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, Original bath from the Hotel Titirangi, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0003
A few original wardrobes from the former Hotel Titirangi are still intact. This room is used for commercial purposes.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, Original wardrobe from the Hotel Titirangi, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0007
The last tenant to leave Lopdell House prior to the renovation, and the first to return once work was completed, was barber, Peter Fielder.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, Peter Fielding in his barber shop, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0009
Book and paper conservator Paul Taylor of Spiral Path Book Studio is a new tenant to Lopdell House.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, book and paper conservator, Paul Taylor of Spiral Path Book Studio, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0010
Other businesses currently established in the building range from civil engineers to psychotherapists and massage therapists. The Colin McCahon Trust office is also located here.

The original Hotel Titirangi roof terrace has been opened after decades of being enclosed for various purposes, including at one time, a restaurant. Currently used as a viewing platform, it is envisaged it will become a venue for weddings, art exhibitions and the performing arts.

Ref: Auckland Libraries, Roof  terrace, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0015
Ref: Auckland Libraries, Lopdell Precinct facilities manager, Jolie Hutchings. Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0017
Facilities Manager Jolie Hutchings sees the Precinct becoming an arts destination once the new gallery, Te Uru, opens later in the year. Listen to Jolie talk about the facilities currently open to the community.

Fast facts
Lopdell Precinct comprises:
  • Lopdell House 
  • Lopdell House Gallery (Te Uru) - a new bespoke art gallery currently under construction, which is adjacent to Lopdell House
  • Lopdell Hall (originally the Lopdell Treasure House) 
  • Titirangi Theatre, which will occupy the basement of Lopdell House.

Building details:
  • Architect: Mitchell & Stout
  • Construction Company: NZ Strong
  • Commissioned by: Lopdell House Redevelopment Trust and Auckland Council.

For further information:

Ref: Auckland Libraries, rear exterior view Lopdell House,Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0032
Author: Julia Barron, West Auckland Research Centre

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