Eureka Tower

Recently completed and standing 300 metres in height, Eureka Tower comprising 560 apartments is one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. Notable for the incorporation of a significant public observatory at its peak, the tower forms part of a complete city-block redevelopment in Melbourne, Australia on the edge of the river Yarra. The complex incorporates a Travelodge hotel, boutique office space, showrooms, restaurants and parking facilities. These uses create vibrant connections between the lively river edge and currently separated precincts in this locale. Melbourne has become a fantastic city. It`s development over the last 15 years in particular has been dramatic. So many options for events, arts, public facilities, the garden and street activity have all lent cultural richness, but most importantly, Melbourne has become a living city. The incredible success and impact of inner city living have demonstrated a thirst for the safety, convenience and elegance of apartment living, and in this regard, Eureka Tower is a profound symbol of the transcendence of high density living over what has traditionally been the low suburban density mindset of Melbourne. Eureka was designed to complement and counterpoint the cultural presence of the low rise arts precinct, the river corridor and the Botanical Gardens. It provides an omnipresent sculptural marker to the fabric of the Southbank precinct and to Melbourne. Eureka has also provided Southbank with further critical mass. Five hundred and 83 new families and their friends will further activate and enrich this riverside precinct. Its mixed use nature strengthens and reinforces the character of the area. The site had a previous permit for two towers, very stageable, very tangible, very predictable, very boring. The idea of putting one on top of the other created the statement, but also amazingly, significantly reduced the wind and shadow impacts that would have been created by the permitted scheme. It also avoided the potential of creating a wall of buildings when combined with existing buildings. Landscape architecture has also been incorporated to form a major north facing plaza. It was designed to stand tall to be able to interact with the Rialto Towers as a pair of sentinels to Melbourne`s river precinct when viewed from near and afar. To this end, it`s glazing colour is similar and its form is visually arresting and changing from various vantage points. This project required and achieved a highly integrated approach from all consultant disciplines. The process was enriched through the use of Building Information Management utilizing Archicad software. A construction information rich virtual prototype of the building was created and supplemented with Aconex, to allow most disciplines to inform and be informed during the whole process. The statuesque presence of Eureka provides Melbourne with an internationally regarded symbol of place and purpose. As arguably the tallest residential building currently in the Southern Hemisphere, it proudly displays Melbourne`s confidence in and acceptance of the high density, inner city residential typology, whilst also heralding recognition of the need for this approach to sustainability in our built environment. The building hosts many environmentally friendly features. The high performance double glazed external skin minimises heat transference, and with openable, pressure sensitive windows, natural ventilation is easily facilitated. Cross ventilation is further enhanced by the central exhaust system to bathrooms and kitchens. This reduces reliance on air conditioning with the consequential minimisation of emissions to the environment. Water useage is managed with flow control to taps, low volume flush toilets and water efficient dishwashers. The apartments contain an I.T. backbone to allow tailored home automation systems with features such as automatic blind control, motion sensitive lighting and air conditioning control. Materials were selected from natural sources (stone flooring & bench tops, wool carpets etc) and plantation timbers in lieu of rainforest timbers. Materials selections were also made with consideration given to life cycle, waste minimisation, use of low emission materials (in selection of paints, adhesives etc). Waste management provides for recycling on each floor and disposal of general waste through a dedicated garbage chute for compaction and collection at the base of the building. The construction period for Eureka was 6 years. The client group needed purchaser settlements as soon as possible to relieve debt pressure, and purchasers wanted to move in as soon as possible. In response to this, purchasers were able to settle and move into the building progressively as it was being constructed. Accordingly, there was one stage when the low rise had been settled and was occupied, with curtain wall completed to a section above and fitouts occurring internally. Then above that a skeletal concrete frame was being built and on top of that again, the core rising with the crowning tower crane, always about 10 stories ahead of the last pour.


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