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Quay Street takes flight with new sculpture

Quay Street takes flight with new sculpture

Quay Street is about to enter a new era with the installation of a Greer Twiss sculpture – ‘Flight Trainer for Albatross’ – specially designed for the area.

“The city is greatly indebted to the excellent work conducted by the Auckland City Sculpture Trust which has commissioned and facilitated the funding for this magnificent work of art. It looks like being the first of many wonderful additions to the cultural offering Auckland presents,” says chairperson of Auckland City’s Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne.

“The trust has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, much from philanthropists who seek no public recognition for their generosity, but who have a desire to see New Zealand’s best artists exhibiting in our public spaces,” he says.

‘Flight Trainer for Albatross’ will be gifted to the city by the Auckland City Sculpture Trust and is set to be located on the main pedestrian entry to Princes Wharf on Quay Street. The sculpture comprises three large albatross being supported in a flight frame and one at ground level. It is constructed of stainless steel and stands six metres high and three metres wide. Installation is scheduled for early July 2004.

Auckland-born artist Greer Twiss has designed the artwork to explore the relationship between land, sea and air and between man and nature. It is also a metaphor for the support needed for endangered birds like the albatross. The stainless steel structure will be robust enough for the waterfront environment and has links with the boats and activity in the area. News of the artwork coincides well with the Recreation and Events Committee’s recommendation that council accept the $4.1 million tender from Dominion Constructors Limited to transform Quay Street into an attractive, high quality, public space.

The work includes improved lighting, several more major artworks, the addition of more street furniture, the planting of about 70 pohutakawa trees and reducing the traffic lane widths to 3.0 and 3.2 metres to allow the footpaths to be widened on the north side of the street.

The council will consider this when it meets at the end of June 2004. If approved by council, the contract will begin on 14 July 2004, with stage one of the work due for completion by the end of March 2005.

Mr Milne says the first stage of the work includes both sides of Quay Street from the proposed Arena site in the east to the Eastern Viaduct in the west, except for the area between the eastern side of the new ferry terminal and eastern side of Britomart Place.

“It makes sense to complete the work on the second stage at a later date once the Britomart precinct project is underway,” he says.

Dominion Constructors Limited have a proven track record in delivering high quality street environments. Recent examples of their work include the public space at the Viaduct and Britomart project.

The Quay Street upgrade is part of Auckland City’s Auckland CBD Into the future strategy to revitalise Auckland’s central business district (CBD) into one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

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