31 Mar 2015

Urban planner likes 'leaning tower' concept

11:46 am on 31 March 2015

A leaning tower proposed for the capital's airport would be a landmark, a Wellington urban planner of 20 years says.

The tower is designed to sit at a 12.5 degree angle.

The tower is designed to sit at a 12.5 degree angle Photo: SUPPLED

Airways New Zealand has applied for consent to build an air traffic control tower leaning at an angle of 12.5 degrees - a greater tilt than Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The 32-metre-high structure would replace the current tower on Tirangi Rd.

Chris McDonald, who now lectures in architecture, said he can imagine passers-by stopping to stand underneath such a structure.

"It should be a landmark, it sits in an area of fairly undistinguished industrial and retail buildings so it's an area that needs a bit of a lift. The design achieves something that's quite difficult in that it's both simple and memorable at the same time, it's very hard to achieve with architecture," he said.

Chief operating officer Pauline Lamb said the tower would lean into the prevailing northerly wind but the core was rock solid and built to earthquake proof standards.

She said they wanted something that was functional, cost effective, and a little bit quirky.

"With a nod to Wellington's famous breeze, this tower combines a super strong and safe structure with excellent functionality and stunning urban design.

"Our controllers will have an excellent view of the airfield from this new site, which is positioned to maximise efficient operations now and into the future," she said.

Ms Lamb said construction could start in November if Airways New Zealand gets resource consent from the city council.

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