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Old March 3rd, 2006, 09:19 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Eureka! Melbourne to Get World's Tallest Apartment

Skyscraping tower must wait for Eureka moment
Maurice Dunlevy
4 March 2006
The Australian

MELBOURNE'S Eureka tower is on the brink of snatching the title of the world's tallest apartment block. A 50m communications mast atop the 300m skyscraper will secure its place in the record books, eclipsing the Gold Coast's Q1 tower in the height records.

Except builder Daniel Grollo has blinked.

"We're still deciding what to do," Mr Grollo told The Weekend Australian yesterday.

With construction workers such as crane operator Antonio Strangis already enjoying unparalleled views of the city, the mast would take the height of the almost-completed Eureka Tower to 350m, or 27.5m higher than Q1, which was finished last year and whose well-heeled owners include Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe.

From Mr Strangis's vantage point, he has sweeping views from Royal Park and Princes Park in Carlton to two of the city's other tall buildings, 101 and 120 Collins Street. St Paul's Cathedral can also be seen from the unique Eureka perspective.

But Mr Grollo is relaxed about snatching the record from his rival, with the family also building a 330m apartment tower in Dubai that will be completed in June. "Whoever has the tallest building won't have it for long, because of our Dubai project," he said.

Even that tower's reign as the world's tallest would be short-lived, with construction already under way on a 705m apartment block, also in Dubai.

Meanwhile, the Eureka developers are sticking with the line that their tower is effectively taller than Sunland's because the highest habitable point of the Eureka block is on the 89th floor, 290m above the ground, while Q1's highest is only 260m. "That's a huge difference," Mr Grollo said. And regardless of who had the highest tower, the Eureka block would have the most interesting geometry of any building in Australia.

As well as building the Eureka tower, the Grollos share ownership of the $500 million development with high-profile architect Nonda Katsalidis and investor Tab Fried.

The 92-storey Southbank tower has now reached its maximum height of 300m. It has 566 apartments, which are for sale for up to $10 million each.

Gold-dipped glass cladding is being added to the top of the tower, with the building scheduled for completion midway through the year.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:14 AM   #2
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Life's looking up (and down) on the 63rd floor
Corrie Perkin
1 June 2006
The Australian

IT has been hailed one of Australia's great landmark buildings, a design of "heroic ambition", a "spectacular success". Melbourne's new Eureka tower opens its final top floors this week to the applause of the local architecture community.

The 300m, 92-storey building which stands on the south side of the Yarra River, is the world's tallest residential building.

Designed by architects Fender Katsalidis, its steel and glass form in the international style can be seen from the Mornington Peninsula 100km away.

Earlier this week, the construction crane at the top of the building was dismantled. After four years, Eureka's architect, Nonda Katsalidis, admits to "a mixture of relief and pride" that the tower is complete.

"It's fantastic to see people enjoying the building," he said. "It has had an amazing level of acceptance from the community, which is pretty incredible given the negativity that is normally directed towards big buildings."

Randal Marsh, of architectural firm Wood Marsh, said: "I think it makes a positive contribution to the skyline. It's a well-designed building."

University of Melbourne professor of architecture Philip Goad said: "In terms of Melbourne's skyline, it's an extraordinary addition because it starts to shift the balance of the colonial grid across the river."

Eureka's residents are enjoying the novelty of living in Melbourne's most talked-about building.

"You suddenly become very popular with all your friends -- they want to see the view," said Myles Bertrand, 34, a financial management sales manager. Mr Bertrand purchased his 63rd-floor apartment off the plan four years ago and last December he and wife Leanne, a legal secretary, moved in.

"It's amazing, and every day when we walk into the living room we realise how lucky we are."

Mr Bertrand said the apartment, which has increased its value by 15 per cent since purchase, was a perfect vantage point during the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies. "I reckon we could have sold tickets, we were so popular."

Architecture critic Dimity Reed said although she didn't like the tower -- "It's a crass design, a missed opportunity" -- she welcomed the debate it generated. "A lot of Melburnians are quite excited about it, and it's good when people are talking about architecture and have differing views," she said.

Professor Goad added that the building "will create debate whether, indeed, we need towers of this scale to house people".

"And Eureka won't have done the proponents of tall towers any harm. The skill of the architects has ensured it fits quite happily as a part of Melbourne."

Architect and writer Neil Clerehan said that "from afar, it's a spectacular building".

"Close up, it's awful because the podium at the bottom is a mess. Therefore, go to Rosebud (on the Mornington Peninsula) to see it at its most ravishing."
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Old June 1st, 2006, 07:39 AM   #3
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It's not like you can see the podium from anywhere other than directly below the tower anyway, since it's just covered by other buildings.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #4
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Eureka hopes to win tourism edge with its box of tricks
2 May 2007
The Age

WE'RE 285 metres above Melbourne when James Cockburn starts jumping up and down as if to dislodge us and send us hurtling from the highest "public vantage point" in the southern hemisphere.

"Stop it!" someone begs.

Moments earlier, the Eureka Skydeck project director had cheerily taunted us: "Those of you who won't do it are chicken and should go home feeling very sorry for yourselves."

Someone talks about writing a will - or having failed to do so - as the six-tonne glass cube on wheels called the Edge prepares to cantilever three metres out from the Skydeck, on level 88 of the city's tallest building, the 92-storey Eureka Tower.

It takes just 47.3 seconds and you're hovering in the air, where you remain for four long minutes. At first the glass on the floor is opaque. Then it suddenly clears. You can't help looking straight down to where Mr Cockburn says a colleague suggested they paint the outline of a fallen body. Before the glass clears, you hear the sounds of creaking chains and breaking glass.

"We're trying to go . . . from comfortable to scary," Mr Cockburn says. Of why the bossa nova hit The Girl from Ipanema is playing, he says: "We're kind of sadistic, I suppose."

We're 30 metres higher than the previous highest vantage point in Melbourne, the observation deck on the 55th level of the Rialto Towers. The 2.1 by 2.6-metre cube of glass and reinforced steel, likened to a "giant matchbox", is designed to take up to 12 passengers at a time and hold at least 10 tonnes.

Organisers hope this world-first attraction will become one of Melbourne's biggest tourist drawcards. It will be open to the public from May 15, running from 10am to 10pm daily, except when winds exceed 70 km/h.

Visitors take a lift ($16.50 per adult, $11 concession, $9 children) that deposits you on the 88th floor in 40 seconds. There you can wander about and, for an extra fee ($12, $10, $8), enjoy "the Edge experience".

"The ones who scream their hearts out when they get in this thing just make me so happy," Mr Cockburn tells media on a guided preview.

He dobs in several people who have declined to enter the cube. State Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu is one who apparently baulked at the prospect.

"It's very, very safe," Mr Cockburn says. The experience is "fairly roller-coaster-like".

He concedes that he has been trying to overcome a fear of heights. "I've been skydiving and bungee-jumping," he says. "Work on this project has almost cured me, but not quite."

See a video of the view from the 88th floor at theage.com.au

LINK : www.eurekaskydeck.com.au
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