Building an icon
Building the 12th tallest tower in the world – taller than the Eiffel Tower – on schedule, on a site occupying a whole central Auckland block, would have seemed impossible in 1994. Yet we set out to achieve exactly that.
There were plenty of obstacles. Time, efficiency and quality of construction, innovative design concepts that would allow a 328m tall building to withstand 200km/h winds and resist 8.0 magnitude earthquakes, all provided challenges for our team to overcome. If that wasn’t enough, Sky Tower had to be designed to last 100 years with low maintenance requirements.
Beyond the planning, design and construction effort, more than 15,000 cubic metres of concrete, 2000 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 660 tonnes of structural steel were required to achieve the end goal. At its peak, 1000 building professionals were working on the construction site; what had seemed impossible to others was fast becoming a reality.
When Sky Tower was completed in February 1997, six months ahead of schedule, it was the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. On the eve of its 20th anniversary, Sky Tower remains both an enduring icon of Auckland and a visible reminder of an extremely challenging and unique project.