Sitting comfortably among the clouds, Australia 108 is a rather impressive sight. Its curved exterior and cantilevered star invoke a sense of modern elegance that is confirmed by the interior that features contemporary luxury seen within the multi residential buildings of today.
Residing in Southbank, adjacent to Melbourne’s CBD, the tower is an architectural marvel, that is a feat of gigantic proportions for both design firm Fender Katsalidis and Australian architecture as a whole. The tower, built by Multiplex for World Class Global took approximately seven years to complete. Encompassing 100 levels over 319 metres, the tower is the Southern Hemisphere's tallest residential building.
Described as a ‘queen,’ the building shimmers with a colour palette that features deep blue, gold and chrome nuances. Natural textures intertwine with the palette to form a tower that sits atop the Melbourne skyline with conviction.
The exterior of the tower is juxtaposed with a heritage facade that is shrouded by canary palms and trees to give the building a layered green element.. This ‘second’ facade plays host to a ten-storey car park that has been incorporated into the base of the skyscraper.
The building holds a total of 1,105 apartments spread across its 90 residential floors. Around 4,500 square metres of Australia 108 is dedicated to shared facilities across the entire building, that includes a double height sky garden, dining and function spaces, theatrettes, gymnasiums, spas and an extensive barbeque terrace for the utilisation of residents.
A gold ‘Starburst’ directly inspired by the Commonwealth Star is a major design feature of the tower. The Starburst is essentially two levels which protrude six metres outward from the main structure in the shape of a star, that is effectively an exclamation mark in the sky. The sculptural forms of Australia 108 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. They are programmable to form patterns and accompany the internally lit Starburst which appears as a glowing star at night.
Living practically next door to Australia 108 is the Eureka Tower, another monolithic skyscraper, this one coming in at 297 metres tall.
Fender Katsalidis Director Craig Baudin says the practice looked to capitalise on the rare opportunity of creating two massive buildings close to each other in both geographical location and style.
"We have used this as an opportunity to allow the towers to have a dialogue with each other, being partners in the skyline, while each expressing their own identities," he says.
"The dramatic cantilevered forms of the Starburst allow us to achieve a generosity of communal spaces to these levels, despite being constrained by a relatively small site."
Australia 108’s interiors are a textural masterclass. Marble joinery and wooden floorboards feature throughout many of the apartments, with bottle green mosaic tiles lining the walls of the indoor pool. Thick woolen carpets and long silk curtains are a luxurious touch that is coupled with the views of Melbourne that have to be experienced to be truly believed.
Fender Katsalidis have set a benchmark for Australian architecture with the creation of Australia 108. Despite its height, the material and textural selection coupled with premium high-rise living ensures the tower won’t just be remembered for its presence, but what it offers to its guests and those looking at it from the street.