Planning permission has been granted for what will become the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. Australia 108 was approved for the city of Melbourne last week by Planning Minister Matthew Guy, who said: “Towers such as Australia 108 are consistent with the Coalition Government’s drive to concentrate high-density development in defined areas and out of existing, quiet neighbourhoods. Every apartment in this tower is one less apartment in an existing quiet neighbourhood.”
The practice behind this 388m-tall tower is Fender Katsalidis Architects who designed the Eureka Tower in Melbourne which opened in 2006. This 297.3m-tall residential structure was inspired by the Eureka Stockade of 1854 where gold miners of Ballarat rebelled against the UK colonial authorities. The golden crown atop the Eureka Tower is a reference to this, as is the short red stripe near the crown which symbolises the blood split during the clashes.
When complete in 2018, Australia 108 will offer 646 apartments and a 288-room 6-star hotel, supported by a number of retail and dining options including a fresh food market and café. There will also be commercial office space to let. Inspiration for the design came from the Commonwealth Star on the Australian flag which can be seen in the ‘starburst’ feature at the building’s summit.
Guy continued: “Australia 108 will be an outstanding addition to Melbourne’s skyline. This tower signifies the best of Victorian architecture and a drive for enterprise and ingenuity that exists nowhere else in Australia. I am proud to approve a tower that will define our city for many years to come and which I am sure will become as iconic a Melbourne landmark as Flinders Street Station or Federation Square.”
At this point in time the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere is the Q1 Tower in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast by Atelier SDG, the spire of which reaches 322.5m into the air. “Australia 108 has the ability to define Melbourne and signify our coming of age as a dynamic and progressive international city," said Nonda Katsalidis, co-designer of the project told CNN Travel. "Nothing like this exists in our part of the world.”