|Palmerston North Clock Tower|
Some recent sketches of buildings around the North Island could only have one thread in common and that's that they're a bit weird.
The Palmerston North City Council building (above) is really interesting, if not a little surreal. It sits nestled in flax and cabbage trees with a line of pou whenua on the edge of the Palmerston North town square.
Since sketching it I've discovered it's considered one of New Zealand's ugliest buildings, but I'd tend to disagree, as it seems to suit the eclectic square nicely, even though it looks like it might lift off with a harvest of human specimens at any moment.
Looming directly behind me while sketching it and reminding me a lot of that scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, is the Palmerston North Clock Tower with it's intensely glowing and changing lights that pulsate while it broadcasts chamber music through the night, but rather than Richard Drefuss and a team of scientists looking on, just a few ducks and their ducklings sheltering from the duck shooting season were present.
Below is the old Cornish Pumphouse in Waihi. Once boasting a 4 meter stroke and capability of 'dewatering' up to 7000 litres of water per minute from Waihi's gold mines early last century.
A few years back it was moved 300 metres on steel rails away from the edge of the expanding open cast mine rim. Downtown Waihi itself is just metres to the left of the building. If the mine's rim keeps collapsing as it has been this year they may have to move the old building into the main street.
|Cornish Pump House, Waihi|
Fort Takapuna is an archtectural work of genius. Perched on a cliff near Narrow Neck on the North Shore overlooking Rangitoto Island and the main shipping channel into Auckland. Believe it or not it's actually the cleverest fort in the world, as it was built below ground so that an advancing enemy couldn't actually see it. I know! Genius!
The fort was originally built to defend Auckland against possible invasion way back in the 1890's. As well as a number of smaller disappearing guns, there were two large guns in the cliff front from which this connected main building could supply a steady stream of ammunition. All designed to protect the Rangitoto Channel from the dreaded advancing Russian vessels. I suspect the Russian's had bigger fish to fry so the fort was never actually needed.