Tag: Dr. Ian Lochhead

“The Town Hall story – a Christchurch dream renewed” (University Canterbury Press Media Release)

Christchurch’s proud tradition of public architecture is clear in one of the city’s favourite buildings – the Christchurch Town Hall. The city’s ‘public living room’ for hosting celebrations, concerts and civic events, the Town Hall reopened triumphantly this year after a successful campaign for its restoration.

Through the tortuous beginnings of the original project to the battle to save the complex after the earthquakes of 2010-11, a new book, published by Canterbury University Press, captures an intimate story of the Town Hall. It is fitting that former Associate Professor of Art History at UC Dr Ian Lochhead edited The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, since he was an early advocate of repairing and restoring the building, expressing his views in a piece titled ‘Let our public living room live again’ published in The Press on 20 March 2012.

When the facility opened to much fanfare and civic interest in 1972, the auditorium in particular was unlike anything seen in New Zealand before, Dr Lochhead explains. While Sir Miles Warren led the creative architectural team (establishing the reputation of Warren & Mahoney nationally), it was Sir Harold Marshall who was responsible for the world-class acoustics that changed the way concert halls around the world were designed from that point on.

The quality of Marshall’s acoustic design attracted performers of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Carlos Santana and, just last month, renowned cellist YoYo Ma, and saw Christchurch recognised alongside the great concert halls of Vienna, Boston and Lucerne. The Philharmonie de Paris, which opened in 2015, took its design cues from the Christchurch Town Hall, to the extent that the French employed Marshall Day Acoustics, the practice established by Harold Marshall in 1981.  

Details such as this makes the book a treat for history lovers, architecture buffs and conservation advocates alike. The compelling story of the incredibly challenging restoration is recounted in chapters by Peter Marshall and John Hare and captured in photos by former UC photographer Duncan Shaw-Brown and by Olivia Spencer-Bower.   

UC returned to the Town Hall for its graduation ceremonies this year, one of many key Christchurch organisations to again use this much-loved space for their most important celebrations.

The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, edited by Dr Ian Lochhead, is available now in hardback edition (248pp, colour and B/W illustrations), RRP $59.99, ISBN: 978-1-98-850310-3.

Further information:

Ian Lochhead, Art History, photographed in his office, 19.2.14

Editor Ian Lochhead taught Art History at the University of Canterbury from 1981 to 2014. He has written extensively on the history of New Zealand architecture from the colonial period to the Christchurch School. His book, A Dream of Spires: Benjamin Mountfort and the Gothic Revival, was published by CUP in 1999. He was an early advocate for the restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes; his article ‘Let our public living room live again’, was published in The Press on 20 March 2012. The Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand made him a life member in 2013.

Dr Lochhead Image: Duncan Shaw Brown


John Hare

Sir Harold Marshall

Peter Marshall

Martin Setchell

Sir Miles Warren


Duncan Shaw-Brown

Olivia Spencer-Bower

“Dame Ngaio Marsh heritage house reopened” Checkpoint (RNZ National)

RNZ: "Dame Ngaio Marsh heritage house reopened" : A room where critically acclaimed crime writer Dame Ngaio Marsh worked was reopened this morning after being flooded last month.
(Originally aired on Checkpoint, Wednesday 20 May 2015)

“More targeted approach to earthquake-prone buildings” Consultation : Media Coverage

RNZ News:
"Heritage advocates fear Government plans for dealing with buildings after natural disasters will result in historical landmarks being lost forever."

Late Edition Podcast: the news item starts approx. 17".40 (Dr Anna Crighton and Dr Ian Lochhead interviewed)

“Submission from IConIC on Draft Heritage Building and Places Recovery Programme for Greater Christchurch”

IConIC logoDr Ian Lochhead has generously supplied us with the text of the IConIC submission.

"While it is so self evident that it scarcely deserves comment, the release for consultation of a draft Heritage Building and Places Recovery Programme for Greater Christchurch (HBPRP) over three years after the September 2010 earthquake and nearly three years after the February 2011 quake, is woefully inadequate."

The text of the submission is as follows: (more…)

Letter To The Press From Dr. Ian Lochhead Re: Preparation Of Demolition Plans For The Former Civic Offices

Dr. Ian Lochead has generously supplied the text of his letter that was published in The Press. (3rd October 2013)


The report in The Press (1 October) that demolition plans are being prepared for the heritage listed former Christchurch Civic Offices in Tuam Steet further highlights the flawed process being followed with regard to the future of heritage buildings in our city.  (more…)

“The fact that CERA has issued a Section 38 notice allowing the demolition of McLean’s Mansion…. is a clear indication that Government places little value on the part heritage has to play in the Christchurch recovery” Letter Sent To The Press By Dr. Ian Lochhead

Dr Ian Lochhead has generously provided the text of his letter published in The Press. (16th July 2013)

The fact that CERA has issued a Section 38 notice allowing the demolition of McLean’s Mansion, one of New Zealand’s largest and most extraordinary houses, is a clear indication that Government places little value on the part heritage has to play in the Christchurch recovery.  (more…)

“Why we should value the Christchurch Town Hall”- Dr. Ian Lochhead

ChCh-Town-Hall-interiorDr. Ian Lochhead has generously made available the submitted text for the article  "Symbol of great innovation" published in The Press.   Note: The text provided by Dr. Lochhead differs slightly from the resulting published article.
The article is a response to Minister Brownlee's "Modern city needs new town hall" (Press Online).

Why we should value the Christchurch Town Hall (more…)