Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is replacing the roof of its 135-year-old heritage building, essential work that will help protect the beautiful old building and precious artworks within for future generations.
Designed by Charles D’Ebro and John H Grainger in 1883 and completed in 1887, this building was one of Auckland’s first civic establishments. It is recognised as a Category 1 historic place of outstanding cultural significance.
The heritage restoration project has been named kia whakahou, kia whakaora (to restore, to heal). Enabling works began in February 2023 and the project is now underway. The restoration only affects the heritage building, not the modern extension which opened in September 2011. All the work done will be sympathetic to the heritage status of the building.
The roof replacement is Stage 1 of a wider proposed restoration programme. Funding for Stage 2 of the heritage restoration project was approved in late April.
Stage 1: Replacing the roof
Work has begun on a complex project that includes:
- Replacing the slate roof, the underroof, lead and copper flashings and gutters and downpipes. Skylights will also be removed to reinstate the original dormer roofing.
- Civil work along the Wellesley and Kitchener Street pavement will enable better drainage connections from the roof gutter and downpipes.
Stage 2: Protecting the façade
The second phase of the project focuses on repairing the original render on the surface of the building. The wall coating has bitumen layers underneath, and the surface is showing significant wear and tear. The facade team will carefully remove these old layers using specialist removal techniques, and then repair damaged plaster and resurface the building with a fresh, protective coating.
Recoating the exterior will allow the team to use a lighter, brighter colour in keeping with the building’s original appearance.
Included in the façade restoration is the remediation of the original exterior windows on Wellesley Street and Kitchener Street and removal of the original exterior lighting system which has failed.