Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Global Walking Tour: Melbourne
June 21, 2017
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MELBOURNE – On June 21, CTBUH Advisory Board Member Karl Fender, Founding Director, Fender Katsalidis Architects, led the fourth annual Global Walking Tour at Eureka Tower in Melbourne. This year, 17 Global Walking Tours took place, focused on the theme “The Space Within Tall Buildings.”

The visitors pose for a group photo before the tour.
Fender, one of the design directors of Eureka Tower, explained that the tower was completed in 2006, and at the time was the tallest residential building in the world, standing at 91 stories. As of 2017, it is the tallest building in Melbourne and the second-tallest in Australia. Located across the Yarra River from the central business district, Eureka Tower provides a range of high-end apartments, office accommodations, car parking, and a public observation deck. Apartment sales greatly exceeded initial expectations, and purchases were made by buyers from all over Australia. The building has received multiple awards, including the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture, the AIA National Awards, 2007, the Best Overall Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing, AIA (Vic) Awards, 2007, and the Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design, AIA (Vic) Awards, 2007. 
Karl Fender, Founding Director, Fender Katsalidis Architects, begins the tour.

The tour of Eureka Tower began at the palm court below the building. Visitors learned about the origin of the tower’s name, which comes from the Eureka Stockade, a structure built by gold miners during the Eureka Rebellion of 1854. This rebellion occurred at the end of the Victorian gold rush in Australia, when Melbourne was a colony of the United Kingdom and miners revolted against colonial forces. This battle is reflected in the design of Eureka Tower, through the gold plating on the top ten stories, meant to signify the gold rush, and a red stripe that represents the bloodshed from the rebellion. The Eureka Stockade’s flag is represented in the blue glass cladding and white lines on the building.

The group traversed the city-block-sized site to view the building from different vantage points. They viewed a public art piece that stands at the base of the building, created by Richard Stringer and Nonda Katsalidis in 2007. The piece contains a white box full of bees, which is meant to be a manmade beehive and complements the gold plating at the top of the tower.

Fender then led the group up to the 85th floor, the only remaining level that has not been fitted out, 10 years after construction. The owner of the floor explained the deliberate move to keep the level as base-building only, and said that she and her husband had not yet finalized plans for the space. Next, the group went down to the 81st floor and toured a fully furnished, luxury apartment belonging to the same owner – a stark contrast to the previously-visited floor.

The group then explored the resident amenities, including a gym, pool, and terrace, before heading up to the Eureka Skydeck, the public observation deck on the 88th floor.
Visitors traveled up from the ground floor on the fastest elevators in the Southern Hemisphere and arrived at the Skydeck in a mere 38 seconds.
Outside view of Eureka Tower.

The Eureka Skydeck boasts the highest public viewing platform throughout the Southern Hemisphere, at 285 meters. Here, attendees took in the best views of Melbourne from the tower’s tallest vantage point. They looked through viewfinders to find some of Melbourne’s best landmarks. Fender also showed the group The Edge, a large glass cube that extends out for visitors to venture over the edge of the building.

Visitors explore the unfurnished 85th floor of Eureka Tower.

Tweets from the tours are tagged with #CTBUHwalks, for those wishing to learn more about how this and the other tours went. The 2017 summer "Global Walking Tours" were held in Auckland, Calgary, Chicago, Dubai, London, Melbourne, Montreal, New York, Ottawa-Gatineau, Rotterdam, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, and Toronto.

Soheil Sabri CSDILA, The University of Melbourne
Christine Kilmartin DELWP
Jason Gaekwad Mott MacDonald
Shane Hill Plus Architecture
Rebecca Brennan Rialto
Joanna Hill Rialto
Orla Kennedy Rialto
YeeKee Ku The University of Melbourne
Hing-Wah Chau
Hing-Ping Leung