Melbourne will soon be home to the tallest skyscraper in the Southern Hemisphere when Australia 108 is completed in Southbank. Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, Australia 108 is a 388-meter-tall mixed-use tower that will be prefabricated in sections on the ground and then assembled in the air to reduce construction time.
Australia 108 was recently approved by Melbourne‘s planning commission and will have a total of 108 floors. Construction is expected to be complete in 2018, when it will beat out the Q1 Tower in Gold Coast (323 m / 1,058 ft) and the nearby Eureka Tower (297 m / 975 ft) to become the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. Local firm Fender Katsalidis Architects, who also designed the Eureka Tower, is in charge of the design, which was inspired by the Commonwealth star on the Australian flag. At about two-thirds up, the tower will have a ‘starburst’ feature and observation deck.
Inside, the tower will provide space for 646 apartments, a 288-room 6-star hotel, as well as retail and dining amenities that includes a fresh food market and café. The tower will also include some commercial space. The top of the tower will be open to the public with an observation deck, restaurant and bar. To facilitate construction, components will be fabricated and pre-assembled on the ground, which will reduce overall construction time and minimize the impact on the city during the period.
No word yet on what sort of sustainable strategies will be included in the design, but the city seems pleased with the concept as a way to increase density and provide more housing. Planning Minister Matthew Guy explained, “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.”
Images ©Australia 108