Supertall skyscraper puts a star in the Melbourne sky

Though it’s debatable whether or not Melbourne’s Australia 108 is the southern hemisphere’s tallest residential skyscraper as claimed by designer Fender Katsalidis, it’s certainly one of a kind. The impressive building stands out from other supertall skyscrapers with a gold-colored “Starburst” on its exterior that’s inspired by the Commonwealth Star on the Australian flag.

To get its defining feature out of the way first, the so-called Starburst enlivens the glass tower and protrudes 6 m (19.6 ft) out from the main structure in the shape of a star at around two-thirds of the way up the building. It hosts the predictably named “Star Club” which features enviable amenities for residents, including two infinity swimming pools, lounges, meeting spaces, dining rooms, a theater, two gyms, and a vertical sky garden.

The question of Australia 108’s relative height is complicated but worth explaining. According to Fender Katsalidis, the skyscraper reaches a maximum height of 319 m (1,046 ft) and is indeed the southern hemisphere’s tallest residential building – as long as we’re ignoring spires.

However, the Council On Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) uses the building height by architectural top, which includes spires, for its official height rankings. This yardstick would make Australia 108 a “mere” 316.7 m (1,039 ft) in height and the Q1 Tower in Queensland, which is also a residential tower, slightly taller at 322.5 m (1,058 ft). There’s merit to both arguments, but we follow the lead of the CTBUH with this sort of thing.

Australia 108 contains 100 floors

Peter Bennetts

Either way, it’s a massive project. Construction firm Multiplex spent 12 months on groundworks alone, driving over 200 piles up to 46 m (150 ft) into the ground to ensure structural stability. A total of 3,252 workers were involved in the build and its facade consists of 14,854 glass panels, which sport white bands that can be illuminated at night, while 24 prefabricated golden trusses make up the Starburst. An existing historical facade on the site was also retained closer to ground floor and greenery was planted on the exterior of lower floors, too.

“The sculptural forms, overt during the day, are visible at night with the building’s horizontal white bands being lit, forming a glowing wireframe that highlights the curves and contours beyond the lights of individual residences,” explains the press release. “They are programmable to form patterns and accompany the internally lit Starburst which appears as a glowing star at night. The ground floor podium features a retained heritage facade while the 10 floors immediately above encompass car parking that is shrouded by canary palms and trees to give the building a layered green element.”

As well as the pool pictured, the Starburst hosts lounges, meeting spaces, dining rooms, a theater, two gyms, and a vertical sky-garden
As well as the pool pictured, the Starburst hosts lounges, meeting spaces, dining rooms, a theater, two gyms, and a vertical sky-garden

Willem-Dirk du Toit

Interior design was handled by Carr Design and besides the amenity spaces mentioned, the skyscraper’s 100 floors include a lobby, parking space, and a total of 1,105 apartments that range from single-bedroom pads to sprawling multi-level penthouse suites, all with plush furnishings and high-end materials, as you’d expect.

If you would like a place here yourself, its official website lists one- and two-bedroom residences starting from AUD 470,000, while a larger apartment suite on floor 97 fetches AUD 5,558,000.

Source: Fender Katsalidis

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