Sculpture or chimney?
It might be art, but many commuters think the $119,500 sculpture at the Albany Park and Ride is just a chimney.
"It looks like a smokestack or something," commuter and Albany resident Sarah Lee Russell says.
LUNA, a seven-metre limestone sculpture commissioned by Auckland Transport, has been installed in the new extension of the Park and Ride facility.
Artist Caroline Robinson was commissioned to create the piece.
"It is intended to communicate within the Oteha Valley, relating a quietness and steadiness, in dialogue with the earth, the water, the tall trees of the forest as well as the surrounding buildings and structures," she told sister paper the North Shore Times in March.
Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Margaret Miles says the board was concerned it would take up car parks and commuters would not have time to stop and look at the tower.
"I'm sorry but if you're wanting to catch a bus in the morning I don't think you've got the time to start reading about what this structure is," she says.
Auckland Transport's Mark Hannan says in its original place two or three parks would have been lost.
"In its new position no parks are lost because the sculpture is in an area which was always to be landscaped."
But there is still confusion with dozens of people spoken to around the bus station stumped.
Many did not understand the tower was art.
Even Albany councillor Michael Goudie faced questioning from residents on his Facebook page.
"What's going on," one local wrote. "Plans look like a chimney to me."
Mr Goudie replied: "I will have to look into it."
Mr Hannan says a plaque will be placed on the tower and the story will be sandblasted on a window pane at the bus station.
Mrs Miles says the sculpture's story is "quite special" although she doesn't really understand it.
The cost of the sculpture was included in Auckland Transport's $5.5 million budget for the Park and Ride extension.
North Harbour News