The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located in Auckland City in New Zealand. It stands in the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland Central Business District. It is currently the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Because of its shape and height, the Sky Tower has become an iconic structure towering over the Auckland skyline.
Sky Tower History
The Sky Tower was constructed in 1994 with Fletcher construction tasked to build it. The tower was designed by Craig Craig Moller architects with the engineering firm Beca Group handling the design management and coordination tasks. The project took two and a half years to complete. The Sky tower was eventually opened in March 3, 1997, which was six months ahead of schedule.
Sky Tower Features
The Sky Tower is made of reinforced, high performance concrete. It has a 12 meter or 39 feet diameter shaft that contains three elevators and an emergency staircase. It has a base that is built upon 16 foundation piles drilled 12 meters or 39 feet deep into the sandstone.
The upper levels of the tower was constructed using composite materials, structural steel, as well as pre-cast and reinforced concrete. The Sky Tower stands 328 meters or 1,076 feet from the base to its antenna spire. From the top floor, it measures 222 meters or 728 feet.
The Sky Tower is now part of the SKYCITY Auckland casino complex. It attracts an average of 1,450 visitors daily. The tower has two restaurants and a cafe to accommodate its visitors. One of its notable features is the revolving restaurant, located 190 meters above the ground, that turns 360 degrees every hour. The tower also contains 3 observation decks at different heights that offer 360 degree views of the city.