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New tower to dwarf Eureka

20 Nov 2012

New tower to dwarf Eureka Image

A residential tower proposal is being finalised for Southbank that, if built, would become the tallest building in Melbourne.

As the name suggests Australia 108 will be 108 storeys or 388m high and is being designed by the same architects responsible for Eureka Tower, Fender Katsalidis.

That makes it 91 metres higher than Eureka, the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere and the 18th tallest building in the world.

It is planned for 70 Southbank Boulevard. In 2010 a smaller building was approved for the site but developers backed away from the plans.

Fender Katsalidis CEO Nonda Katsalidis said Australia 108 was a chance for Southbank and Melbourne to create an iconic venue, recognisable the world over.

“There has been talk and concern over the buildings on City Rd all being the same height. Tall buildings become the focus – just look at Eureka,” Mr Katsalidis said.

The building is planned to have a similar number of residents to Eureka tower, with an additional 20-storey hotel at the top.

Mr Katsalidis also said that his firm were keeping in mind street level in the design of Australia 108.

“The more people that live in the area, the better the area will get at street level. It will help fill the restaurants, bars and cafes, ensuring the street level is activated. Southbank is so well located, it can certainly take more people,” he said.

President of the Southbank Residents Group, Michael Smolders told Southbank Local News he was wary of forming a view before seeing the detailed plan of the tower. However, he said: “Based on the images reported recently in the media, it’s a building that is certainly very tall and appears to be of visual interest.”

“The key impact will be on the separation distance of this tower from neighbouring towers, some of which are only now being constructed. The separation will have a direct impact on the amenity and liveability of both this tower and its immediate neighbour,” Mr Smolders added.

He also stressed that residents were well aware of Southbank’s status as a capital city zone and said that, as such, the building would fit into the area. But, he said, it did raise a few questions.

“Will it be adequately supported by ground floor infrastructure?” Mr Smolders asked.

“What additional traffic loads will the development place on City Rd as a result and what does this mean to average journey times?” he added.

“Are habitable rooms going to be set back 24m from neighbouring towers?”

Once the plans are finalised, because the tower is well over the 25,000 square metre threshold, it will bypass the City of Melbourne and be sent directly to Planning Minister Matthew Guy for approval.

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