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Conceptualized and facilitated by Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop supervisor Rob Gillies, the final design has been done by Weta concept designer Nick Keller. The spectacular lighting was designed by Rebekah Tisch.
The installation is at its most amazing after dark. If you are in Wellington, have a meal on the waterfront and after dark take a stroll north until you get to the NZ Post building.
On Sunday 28 October two lanes of Wellington's Waterloo Quay were closed to accommodate the enormous crane needed to install the silhouettes on the 5th floor baluster of the NZ Post building. Late afternoon, the silhouette of Bilbo Baggins was erected and at dusk, Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Bifur and Bofur had joined him.
The gigantic silhouettes have been milled from plywood, painted black and are supported by scaffolding. The largest of the figures measures 20ft (6 metres) tall and each figure weighs upwards of 300kg.
Wellington's well known windy conditions necessitated the involvement of the structural engineer John Cuthbert from Dunning Thornton who advised on the structural requirements.
Stay informed about more events in Wellington and beyond this November:
Thirteen of the world’s tallest Dwarves – plus a distinctly larger-than-life Hobbit – have taken up residence on one of the most prominent buildings on Wellington’s waterfront.
Huge silhouettes of 14 characters from the eagerly anticipated fantasy adventure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), have been installed on a fifth-storey plinth at New Zealand Post House - a 12-storey office tower block at 7 Waterloo Quay, Wellington, New Zealand and will remain in place until early 2013.
New Zealand Post is collaborating with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and the filmmakers to produce official stamps and exclusive legal tender commemorative coins for all three films. The first of those collectables – celebrating The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – go on sale Thursday 1 November.
“We wanted to celebrate these momentous movies in a very public way, which reflected the enormous positive impact which comes from having films like these produced in New Zealand’s capital,” Simon Allison, New Zealand Post’s spokesman on stamps and coins said.
“You can’t get much more public than having a procession of 6-metre (20 foot) tall Dwarves and a Hobbit looming over Wellington’s harbour,” Simon Allison added. Installing the Dwarves (and their Hobbit companion, Bilbo) was no small task, given that New Zealand Post House stands on what’s widely regarded as the windiest corner in Wellington – a city known internationally for its strong winds.
“We worked closely with Weta Workshop on this installation, which has been designed to withstand winds of up to 178km per hour (110mph),” Simon Allison said. “ The only sacrifice we had to make was not including an image of Gandalf – who, to keep things to scale, would have been over 12 metres (40 feet) tall if we’d included him in this travelling party.
“Gandalf may have been able to defeat the Balrog in the Mines of Moria, but sadly the Wellington winds just proved too much for him on this occasion. It’s an adventure we weren’t able to undertake” Simon Allison says.
New Zealand Post engaged with lighting specialist MJF lighting to backlight the silhouettes, making them visible 24/7 from a wide variety of vantage points around Wellington harbour.
For more information about the exciting The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey stamps and coins visit: www.nzpost.co.nz/thehobbit Selected products will be available from 1 November at PostShops, REAL Aotearoa stores, and online at www.nzpost.co.nz/thehobbit or by phoning 0800 782 677.