Building Developments in the Whau
Hollywood Cinema gets exterior makeover
After several years working to restore the interior, the owner, Matthew Timpson, is now moving onto expensive exterior work to preserve these iconic buildings. This includes a complete re-roofing of both buildings (the cinema and the old town hall). The internal gutters need attention which is always a challenge. While the scaffolding is up, they are taking the opportunity to do an exterior repaint of the walls. The estimated project cost is more that $200K which is a huge commitment for a small business.
It is amazing how Matthew and the team have brought this venue back to life as a vibrant location for live events and film showings. They have created an adaptable space that can accommodate seated or standing audiences, and the old town hall space also adds flexibility.
Already, people in the community have shown appreciation for the care being taken to curate these Category B historic buildings. The complex is actually three different buildings with three different construction dates, complicated by the fact that the old town hall started life where the cinema now stands, then got moved sideways and replaced by the cinema. The third building is the concrete part which includes the steps, façade and front rooms in two levels.
1867 – Original wooden town hall, with a porch, is built on the site of the current cinema. This building was also used as a cinema, dating from the Boer War period.
1915 – Wooden porch is removed, and the brick frontage building is constructed. It includes the steps, a brass dome on the roof and rooms for the Road Board. The dome was removed in the 1950s as an earthquake risk.
1923 – The original town hall building behind the brick frontage gets moved sideways to its present position.
1924 – The new town hall (now the Hollywood) was completed behind the 1915 frontage building.
There is only one blurry image (above) of the original town hall in all its glory with its brick frontage building and the dome on top. It looks really grand. Now having been stripped of the bling and moved sideways to its present location it looks very forlorn and dejected. Hopefully, a new roof and paint job will help lift its image.
New Lynn Corner Café (The Old Woodshop Corner Cafe)
The old shop on the corner of Hutchinson and Margate was recently demolished. The café closed for renovations last winter and so far, the rear has been rebuilt. It looks like the front will be starting again from scratch.
In July 2020, the café announced “WE’RE CLOSING! Time has come for our long-awaited renovation of the premise. Work is deemed extensive, so we expect to re-open after several months. We’re excited to bring you guys something fresh once we’ve reopened, no doubt it’s well deserved”.
The project is currently paused waiting for council consent on some revised plans. After experiencing a few problems along the way, owner Maahir is reluctant to promise a firm date yet for reopening the café.
New Lynn Community Centre Refurbishment
The 20-year-old New Lynn Community Centre building has served the community well but was overdue for refurbishment.
An increased utilization of the building’s forecourt for community activities required that the building be better connected with the outdoor spaces. SGA Architects Ltd have done the design work.
The main stair of the building has been removed from the foyer, opening up the double height space and exposing this space to the forecourt. A new reception desk and administration office is located centrally to the foyer with a new stair and new lift flanking this on either side. An open plan community lounge and an informal seating area have been provided at each end of the main foyer space allowing the whole space to have an almost seamless connection with the building’s forecourt.
Other works in the $900,000 project include the development of Plunket rooms on the ground floor, three large hirable rooms, and kitchen and storage spaces on the upper level. Acoustic separations and services have been upgraded to benefit community groups using the facility providing more flexibility with concurrent activities.
The New Lynn Community Centre is expected to open the public in May 2021.
Changing times at the old BNZ building, New Lynn
There was some consternation recently when a demolition crew moved in and started taking down the former BNZ building on Totara Ave, New Lynn.
“NOOOOOO!!! One of the most distinctive and beautiful buildings in Auckland”, commented one local on Facebook. “Simple, stylish, of its era but so easy to re-purpose.”
“The building opened in 1964, designed by the architectural firm of Hole and Annabell, and boasted the first use of folded slab roof construction in the country. It certainly has been a distinctive local landmark for nearly 57 years”, notes local historian, Lisa Truttman.
There is good news though, because the front part of the original building will remain and be redeveloped inside. The building is being repurposed with retail at ground level at the front. There will be apartments above the retail as well as on both levels in a new structure at the rear.
On behalf of the owners, Victor Young says “We are very excited in redeveloping and revitalising of this iconic building which has been part of New Lynn for a such a long time. Once finished, it will complement the adjacent eateries and bars as an amazing destination “.