The Sky Tower

August 12th, 2012 at 12:09 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

It opened on a cold August night 15 years ago when fire works and army abseilers lit up a $75 million project that was set to change the skyline forever.

At 328 metres, the world’s 28th tallest tower took more than two years to build, using 15,000 cubic metres of concrete and almost 3000 tonnes of steel.

Plans for the tower date back to 1987, but they didn’t gain momentum until 1994 and within three years, on August 3, 1997, it had its grand opening.

I would have sworn the Sky Tower had been with us for more than 15 years. It has become so iconic that it is hard to recall central Auckland without it. I thought it was over 20 years old, but it isn’t.

Haven’t been up for a fair while. I do recall though the first time jumping up and down on the glass floor to test if it was as solid as claimed.

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19 Responses to “The Sky Tower”

  1. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    A monument to naked concrete, and that awful Alucobond sh!t.

    15 years on and RRM still has mixed feelings about the sky tower.

    Glad it’s here, but it could have been so much prettier than it is…

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  2. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Yes the glass floor can easily withstand your 200kg

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  3. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Whale – I’ve seen DPF issue demerits for less. Let’s see how the bloggers coven oath plays :)

    … and I agree with RRM. It’s an ugly phallic symbol

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  4. dog_eat_dog (782 comments) says:

    I’d rather have an ugly phallic symbol than no iconic buildings on our skyline at all.

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  5. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Emergency chocolate bars in the lift, yum ;)

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  6. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    Macau business interests liked it enough that they hired a Kiwi architect and engineers to help build one there – and AJ Hackett has the bungy franchise on that one – a Kiwi hat trick.

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  7. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    It is sad that NZ’s major landmark is a concrete tower and casino.

    Doesn’t really compare to landmarks other nations have.

    I can’t really see what value a casino adds to society.

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  8. Don the Kiwi (1,763 comments) says:

    Actually, its is a very iconic and appropriate symbol for Auckland.

    It looks like a giant hypodermic needle……….”Auckland – the drug capital of NZ” :lol:

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  9. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    I understand the foundations for Auckland and Macau one were designed by a Russian engineer who came to NZ and spent the first several years doing menial work before getting a chance to use his skills?

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  10. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    @Anthony, I don’t know about that but an engineer friend in Devonport, Mike Ashmore, designed all the temporary structures – principally the cranes that constructed it. He designed them for 200 km/h winds and in the summer it was built Auckland got 5 tropical cyclones. They stayed up.

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  11. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    The best thing about it is its the only vantage point in Auckland from where you can’t see the Skytower.

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  12. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Hamnida. I don’t see what value you add to society. Luckily your existence doesn’t depend on a vote, and nor does the sky tower’s. If you think we should have some more iconic buildings, do something about it. I’d note that most of them are a disasters in the first 20 years – go look up the debacle that was the building of the Sydney Opera House.

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  13. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Hamnida, once you’ve confirmed what your fair salary is, Im happy to give you my bank account details so you can pass me the rest, redistribution, fairness and all :)

    You’re welcome

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  14. Mr_Blobby (178 comments) says:

    Personally I refer to it as the tower of Babylon.

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  15. Reid (16,513 comments) says:

    It is sad that NZ’s major landmark is a concrete tower and casino.

    It is actually sad.

    I disagree with Hamnida’s judgement in that I suspect Hamnida’s main objection is that the landmark houses a casino and I’m reasonably certain from past comments that Hamnida would be a strong if not a fanatical supporter of the Sky Tower were it say, a centre for the homeless and dispossessed as well as housing NZ’s govt-funded think tank for instituting world peace through global disarmament strategies and possibly a state-funded abortion clinic.

    But the concrete is the main sadness. It hasn’t grown on the city. It was marketed as such at the time, being, it will weather, etc.

    But no.

    It’s still concrete. You can tell.

    Possibly the people who make tens of millions of dollars a year from the hotel and casino aren’t actually interested in providing aesthetic value for the people who live in the city which give them that income. Who knows? Could it be that is indeed the case?

    Personally to me and I realise I may be wrong, it’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a mystery and it probably will never be solved, until the SkyTower is demolished, having made its owners billions of dollars and we uncover the time capsule which reveals the real reasons why the owners decided to inflict this in their host, like a tapeworm, sort of.

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  16. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    Hmmokrightitis: I find it hard to believe that Hamnida’s has a salary – who would pay for that level of stupidity combined with lack of self awareness?

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  17. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Yea reid

    Not like its a major employer or anything or the business and the employees pay tax or anything or spend thier wages in Auckland supermarkets and on childcare and clothing stores or anything

    Its not like the concrete was local and the building contractorss were all paid and then paid tax or anything and probably spent their wages in the city or anything

    Or the companies that use the radio masts employ people or pay tax on their earnings or anything and spend their wages in the city and holiday around the country or anything.

    Jesus, deposit needed for a down payment on a life .

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  18. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    PaulL – I earn a modest salary.

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  19. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    Hey DPF

    When it was being built, Graham Hill was doing a live breakfast show cross on BFM from up there. He was interviewing the guy who was pretty much the project manager, and pointed out to the listeners that this man had a lazy eye or ‘wall eye’

    Asked him if he was sure it was perpendicular… hilarious!

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