In 1920, Roy Alstan Lippincott and Edward F Billson won the competition to design Auckland University College’s new Arts Building. Now known as the Old Arts Block, it has become a landmark building for central Auckland.
Lippincott was an American architect who worked in New Zealand during the 1920s and 1930s. He designed other buildings for the university as well as the Farmers Tea Rooms, a six-storey extension to Smith and Caughey department store, and private residences.
Lippincott was inspired by the country he found himself living in, and incorporated ponga fronds, flax seedpods, kaka and kea, and Māori motifs into the Old Arts Block, and delightful, sculpted kauri snails in the Old Biology Building.
He returned to the United States in 1940 but his work can still be found around Auckland today. This illustrated talk will look at some of his work in Auckland and further afield.
Photograph by Tony Hisgett, 2016. CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/31936169282/
About the speaker
Marguerite Hill is a Heritage Researcher for Auckland Council and a regular speaker for the Auckland Libraries' HeritageTalks programme.
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