The first draft for this article did not go well at all. In-fact it was 2330 before I figured out what the problem with it was. It was not the subject matter – the iconic Auckland Sky Tower (there’s one being made in Poland as well). It was how I was perceiving the subject. I was taking the Sky Tower as just that. A tower. The problem with this view is that the Sky Tower is so much more then that.
The Sky Tower is in fact Kiwiana (albeit to a grand scale).
Before I explain about the Sky Tower I should first explain Kiwiana. Kiwiana is corrugated iron sculptures, planes transformed into slides, kumara chips, strange evolution, rugby, pavlova. To put it simply Kiwiana is everything that is uniquely New Zealand.
When Jade and I were hitchhiking round the North and South Islands we noticed that each small town had a sort of theme. There was the mining town of Westport. The Viking town of Norseville. The art deco town of Napier. The list goes on and on. What I hadn’t realized until now was that every city has its own sort of theme as well. Queenstown is known for knarly adventure sports, Wellington is arty and Dunedin is, well, Scottish. What is Auckland though?
Auckland is everything. A melting pot of cultures. It is the starting point for most people on their trip to New Zealand. It has huge urban sprawl that is hard to escape if you do not have your own transport. What I think Auckland wants to be though is Spacy. They made a building that looks like something from a Jules Verne novel.
You could also make the argument that Auckland’s theme is puberty. Take a look at the first photo again. Everything about the skyline looks disjointed, awkward and out of sync. Auckland still has a small town feel to it. There are many different districts with all manner of different people occupying them. The Sky Tower is a testament to that.