Band rotunda restored as new

Publish Date : 12 Jan 2024
Bandstand 1913
A step back in time to 1913 when a band played in the rotunda as part of the Auckland Industrial Exhibition, not long after the structure was completed. Photo/William Archer Price; Alexander Turnbull Library, ref: 1/2-001135-G.
1912 City Enginers Plans ACC 015 3301 1(1) (003)
An extract of the original watercolour sketch used as a reference for the rotunda’s new colour palette.
Bandstand Before
The band rotunda before recent refurbishment.
Band Rotunda New Colours (1)
The band rotunda after refurbishment, showing the new colour pallete.

Pukekawa / Auckland Domain’s band rotunda is now facing the future with a notable nod to the past.

The grand 111-year-old feature of the domain has been carefully returned to its original colours by Auckland Council’s Parks and Community Facilities team, with specialist heritage support, making the rotunda historically accurate to the Edwardian architectural style in which it was built.

Former Auckland Councillor James Mennie originally gifted the rotunda to Auckland city, once built in 1913, as a central location for bands to perform.

Auckland Domain Committee Chair, Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson, says the upgrade is another heritage investment for the domain which provides a wonderful setting for the many gatherings, ceremonies and events like Music in Parks that continue to bring people together at the bandstand every year.   

“Our latest refurbishment is a wonderful return to the past, which honours the heritage value of this beautiful asset, and reflects the designer’s original intent,” Cr Simpson says.

General Manager of Parks and Community Facilities Taryn Crewe says past restorations resulted in the structure being modernised to reflect fashionable colours of the time, whereas the recent refurbishment, completed in December, has provided an opportunity for the council to add authenticity to the heritage-listed bandstand.

“Our efforts to achieve a true reflection of the original look will no doubt be appreciated by heritage enthusiasts,” she adds.

“Original water-coloured plans drawn by a city engineer in 1912 were used to achieve this, in line with current conservation practice for historic places that favours reintroducing colours close to the original palette.”

The bandstand now has a re-coloured roof and barricade, which complements a recently resurfaced surrounding pathway in red-coloured shingle.

True to its original purpose, the bandstand is looking shipshape in time to host Music in Parks: Auckland Domain Rotunda this weekend on Sunday, 14 January.

  • The domain rotunda is available to the public for general use. It’s a great spot to rest in the shade when exercising, enjoy a picnic or meet up with friends.

  • Anyone who would like to use it for events, such as wedding ceremonies and small concerts can submit an event permit application online here.

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