Billy Apple Tower Design

Billy Apple and Architecture Workshop Collaboration on the Apple Tower

To paraphrase Billy Apple, the architect must live like everybody else. Billy Apple, NZ’s leading concept artist, is opening a retrospective show at the Auckland Art gallery curated by Christina Barton. In 1995, Christopher Kelly invited Billy Apple to Wellington to work on an architectural competition. Together with Patrick Clifford and the respective offices of Architecture Workshop, Architectus and Arup, we collaborated to test the Wellington CBD revamped planning rules for 195 - 201 Lambton Quay. Billy settled on the ‘golden mean’ that we converted in plan and in volume to make a proposal for the ‘golden tower on the golden mile’.

We thought it was meant to be, as the building fitted perfectly into the Cable Car height datum of Wellington. A gleaming yellow, divinely proportioned tower... a fantastic idea that won an AAA Cavalier Bremworth gong but alas went no further. Inevitably, a standard commercial development ended up being built. Too close, as it turned out, to the old Hannah’s building contributing to some of the current heritage controversy.  

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