Lippincott Houses in Auckland

Roy Lippincott (Home & Building, Aug 1958, IMG_9319-2)

Roy Lippincott (St Peters School, Cambridge archive)

701 Remuera Road, originally built for Lippincott's own use (One Roof, 2019)

701 Remuera Road, 701 Remuera Road, originally built for Lippincott's own use (photograph 2019)

Swan House at 699 Remuera Road (from Thesis by M Alec Bruce, 1985)

Swan and Lippincott Houses from Remuera Road. Neighbouring properties on Barry's Hill. (from Thesis by M Alec Bruce, 1985)

229 Remuera Road originally built for H M Smeeton in 1927 (Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, 435-20-30, 435-20-32)

21 Upland Road, originally built for Sir James Fletcher (Property Value 2021)

25 Upland Road, originally built for Sir Woolf Fisher (Property Value 2021)

109 St Stephens Avenue, Parnell, commissioned by the Paykel family (Property Value 2021)

Roy Lippincott came to New Zealand as the result of a competition win in 1921. He went on to make a name for himself in designing public buildings and private homes, until returning to the US in 1939. There are a number of Lippincott-designed houses in Remuera.


Roy Alstan Lippincott (1885-1969) was born at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, completing his architecture degree at Cornell University, NY, in 1909. He worked for several “Chicago School” architects, including Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin, and on number of projects abandoned from Frank Lloyd Wright. When the Griffins won the design competition for Canberra, Australia’s federal capital, Lippincott was offered a junior partnership and moved to Australia in 1914. In 1921 Lippincott and Edward F. Billson won the design competition for the Auckland University College Arts Building. Lippincott and Billson established a partnership to complete the project. Lippincott moved to Auckland shortly afterwards (not Billson). He became an Associate of the NZIA in 1922 and a Fellow in 1924, and was involved at both local and national level. In 1939 her returned to the US and settled in California, where he continued to practice.

Lippincott’s work was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, but much of his originally lay in his proto-modernism and use of ornament, much of derived from Maori motifs as well as flora and fauna. He had an accomplished record in industrial scale buildings and had strong connections to Fletcher Construction.  At the same time he undertook commissions for private homes for wealthy Remuera residents, such as James Fletcher and H M Smeeton.

Lippincott designed some of Auckland landmark buildings, including the Smith and Caughey store (1927-29) in Queen Street, and the University of Auckland Arts Building (1921-26).

Further details on Lippincott’s designs are in Barrie Andrew. Roy Lippincott in Auckland. Itinerary No.28, Block-The Broadsheet of the Auckland Branch of NZIA, No.12, 2009)

LIPPINCOTT HOUSES

  1. 701 Remuera Road (1927). Lippincott’s own home. Was 301 Remuera Road in 1935/36, on Barry’s Hill (eastern boundary of Remuera).
  2. 699 Remuera Road (1927).  L W Swan House. Was 297 Remuera Road. Now ‘removed’. Swan bought a piece of Lippincott’s Barry’s Hill property, with Lippincott making it a condition of sale that he be allowed to design the house.
  3. 229 Remuera Road. Smeeton House, cnr Remuera & Market roads, on slope of Mt Hobson up a long driveway. AC Historic Heritage L.st: 01825 Residence 229 Remuera Road, Remuera LOT 1 DP 167345 B F H, see  “A Fine prospect”, p257
  4. 139 Remuera Road, now Triton Hearing Clinic. Demolished.
  5. 21 Upland Road (1927) for Sir James Fletcher, Auckland (Lippincott, 1927) see “A Fine Prospect”, p256.
  6. 25 Upland Road for Sir Woolf Fisher.
  7. 48 Paritai Drive, Orakei (1935-36). Scott House.
  8. 20 Dudley Road, Mission Bay (1926). Seabrooke House.  Moved to Chapman Road, Pukekawa.
  9. 109 St Stephen’s Ave, Parnell (1928). Paykel House.
  10. 59 Marine Parade, Herne Bay (c1934). Laidlaw House.