Victorian Government OKs Plan for 100-Storey Australia 108 Skyscraper, Tallest in Southern Hemisphere
By Vittorio Hernandez | June 27, 2014 7:40 AM EST
The tallest skyscraper in the Southern Hemisphere would soon rise in Victoria, Australia. The 100-storey tower will stand 319 metres tall upon completion.
The original plan, initially disapproved by the government in 2013, was for the Australia 108 tower to stand at 388 metres, but it would obstruct an emergency flight path route to the Essendon Airport.
Nonda Katsalidis, the architect, said the building is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Victorian Infrastructure Minister Matthew Guy approved the construction on Thursday. He disclosed, "The spire at Q1 on the Gold Coast is 323 metres, the top of Q1 is around 275, so it is by far and away the tallest building to the roof line, anywhere in Australia."
Besides the 100-storey skyscraper to rise at 70 Southern Boulevard, Guy also approved two more high rises. One is a 75-storey building on Elizabeth Street and the other is a 54-storey edifice on Queensbridge Street in Southbank.
The construction phase of these buildings would create 5,800 jobs, and when completed, the towers could house 4,000 people and improve the city's urban density.
The new constructions would ensure that Melbourne would have a large supply of housing units and dwellings which are important to the Victorian economy, the minister said.
However, the upcoming tower has its critics. Michael Buxton, an associate professor of environment and planning at RMIT, said its construction would not stop the city's urban sprawl. He explained, "The current Government is saying this is going to take the pressure off the rest of the city, but of course it is not because there are different marketplaces - this isn't reducing pressure on the suburbs or the fringe by a centimeter."
Buxton accused the state government of lacking sufficient guidelines to regulate the construction of skyscrapers in the city.
Brian Tee, Opposition planning spokesman, likewise opposed the towers, saying, "Every CBD site isn't an opportunity to put a tall tower on it. I have an old fashioned view that we should plan these things ... so we don't end up with wind tunnels and we maintain a vibrant city."
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