fender katsalidis nests gold starburst into southern hemisphere’s tallest tower, 'australia 108'

May 04, 2021

fender katsalidis completes ‘australia 108,’ a playfully-designed skyscraper which marks the southern hemisphere’s tallest residential tower. with 100 stories, the project rises 1,047 feet above melbourne‘s skyline. the highly sculptural glass building had taken seven years to realize, and is defined by its golden ‘starburst’ volume that is nested about two thirds of the way up the rippling tower. this element, hosting communal amenity space, projects nearly twenty feet outward from the main structure. suggesting a vibrant exclamation mark in the sky, the star is inspired by the commonwealth star on the australian flag. the building has come a long way since it’s initial design in 2014, which designboom covered here.

fender katsalidis designs australia 108 as an intersecting assemblage of sculptural forms towering over melbourne. overt during the day, the rippling geometries of the facade are exaggerated at night with an array of illuminated, horizontal white bands — generating a glowing wireframe that highlights the curves and contours beyond the lights of individual residences. these bands can be activated to form patterns and accompany the internally lit starburst which appears as a glowing star at night. the ground floor podium features a retained heritage facade while the ten floors immediately above encompass car parking that is shrouded by canary palms and trees to give the building a layered green element.

fender katsalidis director nicky drobis comments on how ‘australia 108,’ stands out among the skyscraper type: ‘the design tries to redefine some of the stereotypes around how skyscrapers are expressed — from the innovative, cantilevered starburst to the varying ways the building can be perceived. while the way the tower is viewed in the skyline is important, we have also chosen to focus on the street experience and the different scales of interaction that viewers of the building might have.’

project info:

project title: australia 108

architecture: fender katsalidis

location: melbourne, australia

completion: 2021

photography: peter bennetts, willem-dirk du toit