Building the Southern Hemisphere’s Highest Residences | The B1M

Building the Southern Hemisphere’s Highest Residences | The B1M

While skyscrapers were home to commercial
office space for much of the 20th Century, the pressures of our ever-expanding urban
populations have driven a rise in residential towers over recent decades. In Melbourne, a recent skyscraper boom has
transformed the skyline and two-thirds of the city’s skyscrapers now serve residential
purposes. The largest of these, Australia 108, is set
to become the tallest building in the city and feature the highest residences in the
southern hemisphere when completed. Originally approved as a mixed-use hotel and
residential tower in 2013, Australia 108 was set to rise 388 metres and 108 storeys above
Melbourne, making it the country’s tallest building. However, the project was shelved just four
months after approval when it was discovered that the structure would breach the flight
path of a nearby airport. Retaining many elements of the original design,
architects Fender Katsalidis reduced the height of the structure to 317 metres and redesigned
its 100 storeys for residential use, regaining approval for the development in 2014. Designed by the same architect, Australia
108 shares a number of key features with the city’s current tallest building, the Eureka Tower. Both towers feature a stepped profile, distinctive
bands across their facades and prominent gold features that pay homage to the Victorian
gold rush of the 19th Century that cemented Melbourne as one of Australia’s most important
cities. Breaking-ground in 2015, the foundations of
Australia 108 were some of the most substantial ever constructed in the city. With the site located in the historically
swampy area of Melbourne’s Southbank, engineers initially spent nine months boring piles to
a depth of 46 metres. The building’s superstructure is supported
internally by two-metre thick concrete core walls and a series of mega columns which extend
the height of the structure while being cleverly integrated into each apartment so as to go
unnoticed by residents. Externally, the tower’s form is a response
to the extreme wind loads acting on the structure. Instead of hard corners, much of the tower’s
perimeter is rounded with large curves that help to disrupt the powerful winds blowing
off the bay. Additionally, Australia 108’s 98th floor
level is dedicated to a liquid column damping system. Much like a tuned-mass damper, this system
shifts the tower’s centre of gravity by using large volumes of liquid to counteract
lateral loads acting on the structure and minimise movement for occupants. Due to the project’s scale, the tower was
in fact split into five distinct phases of development, with completed floors handed
over early rather than being left vacant, In June 2018, 277 of the 1,105 apartments
available in the tower were released for occupation, with more than 50 storeys still to be constructed
above them. To ensure resident comfort, the lobby of the
tower and some of its elevator systems were completed early, while construction teams continue to enter the site from alternative access points. Additionally, a 20 storey “buffer space”
was created between the occupied floors and those still under construction to ensure that
residents were shielded from any noise or vibration. This method of staged release will continue
roughly every six months until the building is fully completed in 2020. Perhaps the most unique feature of Australia
108 is its striking facade and distinct starburst element. Inspired by the Commonwealth Star on the Australian
flag, the gold starburst covers three storeys of the tower – two of which are habitable
– and cantilevers up to six metres beyond the building footprint. Containing two levels of amenities across
the 70th and 71st floors, the starburst contains a sky garden, dining rooms and a gym as well as two infinity pools located 210 metres above street level. While Level 69 acts as a supporting outrigger
floor to the cantilevered structure above – and required extensive amounts of concrete
to construct – most of the starburst consists of a steel truss structure that was lifted
into place after being largely pre-assembled on the ground. In addition to these amenities, residents
have will also have access to a podium terrace, theatre and a spa within the tower. While less obvious than the starburst, the
building’s façade hides a unique visual feature of its own. While appearing as distinct white bands during
the day, as night approaches, LED lights within these bands illuminate offering a striking
visual display on the skyline. While Australia 108 will not officially take
the title of Australia’s tallest skyscraper away from Q1 on the Gold Coast, it will lay
claim to the title of the southern hemisphere’s highest residence, with its record-breaking
penthouse on the 100th floor. The penthouse, which occupies the entirety
of the floorplate, features four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a library, theatre, private
sky courtyard and dedicated elevator access. When it sold to a Chinese businessman for
AUD $25 million (USD $17.4 million) – it became the most expensive apartment purchased
in Australia at the time. Though Australia 108 is on its way to becoming
the city’s tallest skyscraper, plans are already underway for future schemes that would
dwarf this impressive structure. Melbourne made headlines in 2018 when architects
from around the world competed in a high-profile competition to design a landmark tower on
the site opposite Australia 108. UN Studio and Cox Architecture were declared
the winners with their “Green Spine” scheme which would rise to a height of 356 metres
taking advantage of recent changes to the aviation restrictions which limited the height
of Australia 108 back in 2013. However, with a start date not expected before
2022 and the construction landscape continually shifting, Australia 108 looks set to hold
onto its title for some years to come. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

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  1. Australia has a combustible cladding crisis that no one wants to take responsibility for. I just hope we have learned our lesson and that these new buildings are safe.

  2. 7:07 it's disgusting to see how china and UAE oligarchs keep their populations in a condition similar to slavery, and are buying the western worlds properties. also disgusting is how tall theses structures are, and how they take away the sun from the populace living below them

  3. Looking forward to the finished product. What I keep telling people though is how bizarre it is that New York built a 330m tower in 1930…and in 2019 we still haven't got a tower that big in Melbourne!

  4. Nice video.

    I want you to take us to one of the already completed apartments and give us a tour.

    Also share the price of these apartments.

  5. Guys do we know any melbourn YouTubers to show us the city on a daily basis like lifestyle, daily chores like coles shopping.

    I mean everything..

  6. I avoid the CBD/Southbank/Docklands as much as I can, all those parts are so soulless, I have little reason to go to those areas and seldom go. If you have been to Southbank itself, it is a featureless boring windtunnel, everyone locks themselves away in their lonely little apartment towers and bring no love to the streets, no pedestrians, no little shops, nada. Just starkness.

    The real Melbourne that I love are all the inner suburbs around it, tasteful height restrictions, all the mixed use zones, people everywhere, always stuff going on etc.

  7. "…one of Australia's most important cities."

    Wrong, it became richer than London so was one of the most important cities in the British Empire.

  8. Amazing stuff – just a thought – do the same number of skyscrapers have to be built on opposite sides of the planet to balance things up 🙂

  9. Hey guys, could you start listing music credits? The music is absolutely astounding and I've love to know the composer / track! Thanks.

  10. Melbourne City Highrise Appartments are considered as one of the worst property investment in Aus, due to the fact is that they are over over supplied. In fact the values of Mel city appartment have not raised for the last 7 yrs, where Syd has doubled. Unlike Sydney, Mel is aimed to be an liveable city insteadof international globle city, also that it is geographically located on large plain where it has unlimited land supply. Again, unlike Sydney, over 90% of Mel local population prefer to in live in low density suburbs ranther than over crowed City. So where are all these over supplied sold to and who actually live in those appart?

  11. In India Mumbai there is 442 m residential tower is under construction and is about to complete in 2020

  12. How can my grandson get into an engineering career from entry level? He lives in the uk and doaent have an engineering background just passion. Only issue is he is now 35

  13. These flats are all going to be owned by foreign investors from China. This will slowly ruin the city like what happened to my city, Vancouver.

  14. I didnt think Australians could do that kind of stuff…I thought they surfed and grilled stuff on the barbie…

  15. Australia 108 tower complain of 'cracking'

  16. great,until the lifts break down or power cuts or structural problems soon after built

  17. I live on the gold coast and love the Q1, it was the tallest residential building in the world since 2005 until Dubai surpassed it in 2010, bus is still the tallest in australia yet to be passed by Imperial City tower 1 and the Orion Towers in the near future. at around 335m tall

  18. Sure wish we could still build towers as graceful and beautiful as the Empire State Building. It and the Chrysler building put more modern structures to shame.

  19. has anyone heard the sound of crack in this building?

  20. apparently in situ residents are complaining of cracks and snaps and groans occurring on the occupied apartments – some want to sell up and move out.. still under investigation as far as I am aware

  21. One of the most uninviting and lacking innovation you could ever not ask for….. given the current crisis in Australian build standards where high risers are cracking, let's hope this one does not experience any issues… we don't even need this type of building…just a waste or real estate… Yes I forgot it's the biggest so it must be the best… what a joke… america mark 2 here we come….

  22. I want to say I've been watching your channel for a few months now and I find your videos incredibly fascinating. I had to look up what B1M stood for before subscribing, but I figured I may as well after watching like 50 videos from this channel with such a strange name! You have earned this subscriber with the quality of your content, I love all your insights on architecture!

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  24. @ B1M, you should do a video on the structural defects that are afflicting buildings in Australia and other locations. It would be cool to see why there is a problem.

    Someone posted this link in the comments sections, but I have read about other buildings having similar issues. Might be a nice topic to cover.

  25. I am not digging the gold star bursts, and 80's contemporary stripes and design. Plus why not stick an antenna spire on top and beat the Q1 in height!!

  26. much like a lot of cities around the world, melbourne is full of empty apartments bought by chinese investors, driving up the price of everything in the city. it's so disappointing that around the world housing prices are being driven up and locals suffering the most

  27. Awesome looking building, much better than the original design. Looks much better than Eureka tower as well.
    Not sure why the architect didn't make it only several meters taller, so it could surpass Gold Coast's Q1 Tower in height.

  28. Australia is huuuuugeee vast country with little population and they are building skyscrapers ? Why for what joy ? Just give 10 acres for each citizen and will still be left with a half the country

  29. They have ruined Southbank in Melbourne. So many towers so close to each other. Typical Australian incompetence. I viewed what was called a two bedroom apartment while back on holiday 2018. I wasn’t impressed. The smaller second bedroom had no wardrobes but an en suite yet just across was a second bathroom. The living dining room was minuscule and the master room small with partial views consisting of other buildings.

  30. When I went to Melbourne last year, I went to the Eureka Skydeck in Eureka Tower, the tallest observation deck in the southern hemisphere. It was pretty cool!

  31. so…if they are building greenspine does that mean they are not building crowns queensbridge tower ? or is that still going ahead?

  32. Lovely. Buy a penthouse on the 100th floor with 360 degree views for a small fortune and then have the view blocked a few years later by a taller building next door. I suppose you could sell the 100th floor one for a discount and buy the penthouse on the 110+N th floor next door when available. But then, the Chinese owner will probably never live in it and the property will stay empty like so many others bought by the Chinese.

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