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Aussie rules: in the heart of Melbourne, the world's tallest residential tower acts as an agent of densification and regeneration.

At 300m the tallest purely residential building in the world (measured to the highest inhabited floor), Eureka has a dramatic impact on the changing cityscape--not just the skyline--of Melbourne. With 560 apartments it shows how height can help to densify and regenerate an inner city.

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In the early twentieth century, Melbourne was a classic sprawling city, with a CBD on the north side of the River Yarra which emptied at 6pm as workers drove to homes in ever more distant suburbs. Railways cut the city centre off from the river, while its south bank was given over to industry. But a tipping point occurred. Just as industrial decline in the early 1990s opened up new sites close to the city centre, Melburnians began to see attractions in apartment living. The result was a repopulation of the central area, with the sunny south bank of the river attracting bars and restaurants.

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Eureka extends this regeneration one block in from the river. Fender Katsalidis proposed a single tall tower rather than two 150m ones which would have created a wall and generated unpleasant winds along the waterfront. Wind tunnel testing showed that a single tower surrounded by low rise would relieve wind and so make the ground level more habitable.

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Its form changes in response to its context at different levels. Close to the ground it follows the orthogonal shape of the site and nearby buildings, but from this base rises a crystalline diamond form. Similarly, at high level the structure, which uses the highest strength concrete ever used in Australia, sheds its stabilising fins which double as dividing walls between apartments, opening the possibility of spectacular panoramic views in single apartments, J. M.

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EUREKA TOWER, MELBOURNE, ASUSTRALIA

ARCHITECT

FENDER KATSALIDIS ARCHITECTS

BURJ DUBAI, DUBAI

UNITTED ARAB EMIRATES

ARCHITECT

SKIDMORE, OWINGS & MERRILL

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Architect

Fender Katsilidis. Melbourne

Structural engineer

Connell Mott MacDonald

Client

Eureka Tower Pty Ltd

Status

Built

Photographs

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1,2, 3, John Gollings

4, David Simmonds

Lobby and garden at

ground level.

4

Typical apartment, with panoramic Master of the Universe views.

1

Apartments are consolidated into a single, streamlined tower, replacing an original proposal for two blocks. 2

2

At 300m tall. Eureka is the tallest exclusively residential building in the world.

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Title Annotation:Eureka
Publication:The Architectural Review
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:390
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