What’s happening?

Presentation at Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Wed 18 Oct 10.30am FRIENDS TALK: HOOPER’S WORLD. Michael Findlay, lecturer and writer relating to the arts and architecture, will talk on The Basil Hooper Project, which supports the recognition of this architect and the houses he designed for Dunedin residents. There will also be a brief discussion on work shopping (research with regards architecture and Hooper homes, and more) by Susan Irvine from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

It’s Party Time Again

The Basil Hooper Project will be at the Vogel Street Party again this year with a new interactive exhibition on Arts and Crafts architecture in Dunedin. We will be with the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ to you) but we don’t quite know where yet. If our fundraising efforts are successful, we will be showing some new technology and some lovely pictures of old houses from Dunedin collections. Watch for future updates as we head towards October 14.

The Basil Hooper Project Committee blows its own trumpet

This year has been a very busy and successful year for the Basil Hooper Project Committee.We received funding in December 2015 and March 2016 of:DCC Creative Communities Scheme: $3000, DCC Arts Grants Scheme: $5000, Otago Community Trust: $1000, Bendigo Trust: $1500, Heritage NZ: sponsorship and support.

We have held three events this year with one to go.

A Hooper Mystery Workshop – Dunedin Public Art Gallery – 23 July 2016

We had 18 attend this event and received very positive feedback:

“I thought the concept and the content were excellent, and the event was certainly very enjoyable.”

“Excellent! We learned not only so much about Basil Hooper but architectural terms that we can now use correctly as well as property search services available from the DCC.”

“The workshop was really informative & enjoyable. Couldn’t have been more interesting at all, loved the session & learnt a lot. Many thanks for your effort in planning it.”

Ritchie House exhibition, Vogel Street Party 8 October 2016

This was an event we were presented ourselves to a varied general audience. We increased our community engagement and gained many new members from this event. We used this mini-exhibition to test the technology with public with a view to expand into a larger exhibition.

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Happy garden visitors at Lambert house, Alandale Road. Reminder to self: Get a haircut.

Hooper House and Garden Tour – Lambert House and Ritchie House – 6 November 2016

This was an extremely popular event that sold out 2 weeks prior to the day. We gained more members through this event and collected some excellent feedback:

“Hello Committee – Many thanks for a splendid day today. The Lambert garden was fantastic, and the house and its history intriguing, as well as showing what love of a building and determination to save it can achieve. The Ritchie house beggars description – what a credit to the owners who gave it a lease of life that enabled its many wonderful attributes to be conserved. The van, the afternoon tea, and especially the string quartet, were very much appreciated too, along with Jonathon’s commentary. Well done, all of you.”

“You did so well and your organisation was great. Heard lots of good feedback on your day. You are a good team and so good to see these Heritage buildings having their profile raised and people valuing the work that goes into maintaining them and caring for them.”

“What a wonderful tour. Please give feedback saying how exceptional it was in the organisation, the generosity and the actual interest of the event.”

To thank all our wonderful volunteers, fans and Hooper property owners we will be throwing a Christmas party at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on 8 December 2016. Watch for details closer to the date.


We have sold out! All forty tickets for the garden tour were quickly snapped up so we will be organising another similar event in the new year. Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday 6 November. Look out for updates and emails with more details as the day approaches.


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A Hooper House and Garden Tour

Lambert House ~ discover the gardens and hear about the transformation from derelict to delightful!

Ritchie House ~ explore the house and gardens with architectural historians Jonathan Howard and Michael Findlay

Afternoon tea served in garden of Ritchie House accompanied by The Squarise Quartet 

6 NOVEMBER 1-4 PM

Tickets: $10 members of Basil Hooper Group

$30 public

Available from Heritage NZ, Floor 4, 109 Princes Street


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Thanks to everyone who came upstairs to see us at the Vogel Street Party on Saturday. There must have been hundreds as we were greeting people all afternoon and up until 8.00 when the technology finally let go and we were left with a blank screen. Apologies to anyone who missed out but otherwise the mini-exhibition was a great success and we will use it again in upcoming pop-up events. We gave out lots of invitations to the garden tour so we hope to see you then as well. Thanks to our sponsors and Grant Baxter’s Applab who co-developed the exhibition with the Basil Hooper Project Group.

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Make sure you come and see us the Vogel Street Party on Saturday October 8 from 3.00 pm. We will be launching our new interactive mini-exhibition on Basil Hooper’s Ritchie House, upstairs above Dutybound at 57 Crawford St. Thanks to both Graham Warman and Manu Berry for allowing us to use their work in the project. Now we just have to finish it on time…

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The next workshop will be held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery between 11.00 and 1.00 on Saturday 23 July. Make sure you book because space is limited. Email us at basilhooperproject@gmail.com

See you there.

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Manu Berry

Port Chalmers-based artist Manu Berry brings his signature printing style to Mint Gallery once again this July, with his latest show Prints of Basil Hooper Homes.Come and join us for the opening on Friday 1 July 5pm.

Mint Gallery, 32 Moray Place, Dunedin

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5.30pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm. Closed Sunday and Monday

Another unknown Hooper house? – Even after endless scouring of all sorts of records, we can still be surprised. A published photograph of this Roslyn house for Dunedin solicitor Ralph R Aspinall carries Hooper’s name although the plans deposited with the Dunedin City Council look to have been provided by a builder and are unsigned. It is possible Hooper supplied a sketch and the plans were adapted but there is enough similarity with earlier Hooper projects to get us wondering.

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May 2016 – Here is an invitation to attend the next workshop on the identification of heritage houses to be held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Saturday July 23. Please book early for this event as space is limited.

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March 2016 – It’s full steam ahead for the Basil Hooper Project Group with event planning for the 2016 calendar. We are planning an interactive exhibit, a Spring Garden Tour around some Hooper designed houses, and workshops. Please watch this space for more details as they come to hand. If any members are keen on helping with any of these events, please contact the Basil Hooper Project Group at basilhooperproject@gmail.com

December 2015 – The Basil Hooper Project Group was successful in all three applications for funding. We received $1000 from Otago Community Trust, $5000 from DCC Discretionary Arts Fund, and $3000 from the DCC Creative Communities Fund in December. The money will go towards an exhibition, further website development and events for 2016 such as a garden tour and workshops

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The third and final seminar at the Dunedin Public Art gallery features Tania Allan-Ross talking about Harptree, Basil Hooper’s own house built in 1909. We will be updating progress on the website and archive and look forward to seeing you at 5.30 on Tuesday November 3.

The recent seminar held at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery was a great success with University of Otago Professor of History Barbara Brookes describing her ownership of a fine Basil Hooper house in Melville Street, Dunedin. Barbara talked about the history of the house, for many years used by Presbyterian Support Services as an office. It is now restored and used as a family home.

Look for a forthcoming article by Kim Dungey in the features section of the ODT on one of the Windle Settlement houses in Belleknowes.

The last seminar was held at the DPAG on Saturday 8 August. It was hosted by Susan Irvine of Heritage New Zealand and gave home owners useful advice on identifying the key Arts and Craft features of their houses.

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4 thoughts on “What’s happening?”

  1. My name is Jacqui Dickson and Neil and I live in Ritchie House at 26 and 28a Heriot Row. We love our house and so do our residing tenants.We feel very privaledged to be the custodians of a wonderful Dunedin Heritage Property. I look forward to the ongoing information and think this initiative is fantastic.

    • Hi Jacqui. Great to hear from you and that Ritchie House is in good hands. It is one of Hooper’s most accomplished designs and a wonderful example of local Arts and Crafts architecture.

  2. Louise Ashton said:

    Hi there,
    I am trying to find out if my house is a Basil Hooper, or a genuine fake!
    A book written about Macandrew Bay says it was built and deigned bythe owner, Hugh Sutherland in 1936, and appeared in The Evening Star in June 1936, but no mention of the architect. Was Mr. Sutjerland a BH employee? It was 12 Marion Street back tjen. Now 29 Howard. I can enclose a photo another time.
    Regards, Louise

  3. michaelfindlay2014 said:

    Hello Louise. Thanks for your enquiry and my apologies for not answering sooner. As you say, Basil Hooper was in Auckland by this time so probably not him. He did have assistants, however, and we are slowly identifying them through their initials on the office drawings. A local architect Frank Sturmer did a lot of work on the peninsula so it could be him. Please send us a picture and we will compare into what we have.

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