Botanical Gardens, Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Able to Visit
26th November 1981
RS 41181 SO 15235
The Band Rotunda in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens was erected to commemorate bandsmen who died in the First World War. It is a classical rotunda with six columns and a metal balustrade. The rotunda was designed by Alfred and Sidney Luttrell, who are better known for their commercial buildings such as the New Zealand Express Company building in Dunedin (1908-1910), which is acclaimed as New Zealand's first skyscraper.
The Band Rotunda was built by the Rennell Brothers and the foundation stone was laid in 1925. The Band Rotunda is one of the few First World War memorials in New Zealand that commemorates a community 'created by the war itself'. The others include the Nurses' Memorial Chapel, also on Riccarton Avenue, and the seat, just outside Wanganui, that commemorates the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.
Luttrell, Alfred Edgar And Edward Sidney
Alfred (1865-1924) and Sidney (1872-1932) Luttrell established one of New Zealand's foremost Edwardian architectural practices when they arrived in Christchurch in 1902. The brothers had left Australia on the eve of Federation to pursue a more rewarding career in New Zealand.
Alfred had been based in Launceston, Tasmania, where he had been the apprentice of Harry Conway. In 1886 he stared his own firm.
His younger brother into partnership in 1897. The two men assumed different responsibilities within the firm, with Alfred acting as the principal designer and engineer while Sidney co-ordinated building programmes and dealt with clients. Sidney served his apprenticeship whit his brother, and in 1897 they became partners of A. & S. Luttrell. By 1902 they had established themselves in New Zealand, where they were known as S. & A. Luttrell
The Luttrells ran their own contracting firm for many years, designing a wide variety of building types throughout the country. They were the unofficial Diocesan architects for the Roman Catholic Church in Christchurch during the second decade of the twentieth century.
Their chief contribution to New Zealand architecture was in the introduction of the Chicago "skyscraper" style, as seen in the New Zealand Express Company buildings in Christchurch (1905-7) and Dunedin (1908-10). Alfred's habitual use of concrete construction, both mass and reinforced, is another significant feature of his work. The grandstands at Trentham racecourse are his most important work in reinforced concrete, and reveal Sidney's close involvement with the racing world, which led to numerous commissions for the firm.
20th August 2001
Report Written By
Chris MacLean and Jock Phillips, The Sorrow and the Pride: New Zealand War Memorials, Wellington, 1990
Ann McEwan, 'The Architecture of A.E. and E.S. Luttrell in Tasmania and New Zealand', MA thesis, University of Canterbury, 1988
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.