The Sound of Our City
The Auckland Town Hall organ is one of the city’s under-appreciated cultural treasures. 2015 marked the fifth anniversary of the extensive restoration and regeneration work undertaken by the Auckland Town Hall Organ Trust, which is charged with raising the instruments profile and exposing more people to its story and the breath-taking music it produces.
The design inspiration of this ‘mini coffee table book’ was drawn from the towering organ pipes, whose strikingly architectural forms mimics the soaring towers of a cityscape. We chose to tell the story of the organ in parallel to the story of the city, to emphasise its long history at the very heart of Auckland’s cultural landscape.
The typography of the section headings and the typesetting mimic the form of both the organ and the city, building upwards from a common baseline. Just as the organ pipes rise to a height needed for a particular tone, and a building rises to accommodate its function, each piece of typography and each column of text rises to a height that suits its purpose.
Photography is used in varying scales to create drama, texture and grandeur. As a musical instrument, the organ is famous for its ability to range in voice “from a whisper to a roar”, and we designed the photography layout to emulate this. Some images are small, intimate moments. Others are grand and expansive, like the fullest most moments of performance.