History and museums
Eureka Tower is a 297.3-metre (975 ft) skyscraper located in the Southbank precinct of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Construction began in August 2002 and the exterior completed on 1 June 2006. The plaza was finished in June 2006 and the building was officially opened on 11 October 2006. The project was designed by Melbourne architectural firm Fender Katsalidis Architects and was built by Grocon (Grollo Australia). The developer of the tower was Eureka Tower Pty Ltd, a joint venture consisting of Daniel Grollo (Grocon), investor Tab Fried and one of the Tower's architects Nonda Katsalidis. It was the world's tallest residential tower when measured to its highest floor, until surpassed by Ocean Heights and the HHHR Tower in Dubai. As of December 2013 it was the 14th tallest residential building in the world. It is currently the 108th tallest building in the world.
Eureka Tower is named after the Eureka Stockade, a rebellion during the Victorian gold rush in 1854. This has been incorporated into the design, with the building's gold crown representing the gold rush and a red stripe representing the blood spilt during the revolt. The blue glass cladding that covers most of the building represents the blue background of the stockade's flag and the white lines also represent the Eureka Stockade flag. The white horizontal stripes also represent markings on a surveyor's measuring staff.
When measured either by the height of its roof, or by the height of its highest habitable floor, Eureka Tower was the tallest residential building in the world when completed. It is also currently the building with the most floors available for residential occupancy in the world. The building stands 297 metres in height, with 91 storeys above ground plus one basement level. It is one of only seven buildings in the world with 90 or more storeys and is the equal 77th tallest building in the world. It is also the second-tallest building in Australia and the tallest building in Melbourne. The single level basement and first 9 floors contain car parking. The building's proximity to the water table as well as the Yarra River made the construction of a basement car park uneconomical. In all, there are 84 floors of apartments (including some floors shared between car parking and apartments), with the remainder being used for building facilities and the observation deck.
According to the ranking system developed by the U.S.-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the Eureka Tower qualifies as the tallest building in three of the four categories in which heights are ranked, namely height to the floor of the highest occupied floor of the building. For comparison, the Q1 apartment tower on the Gold Coast has its highest habitable floor (the observation deck), reaching a height of 235 m (771 ft), some 62 m (203 ft) lower than Eureka Tower's highest habitable floor. Q1's highest penthouse apartment is 217 m (712 ft) whilst Eureka's penthouse is 278 m (912 ft) high. However, the spire attached to the top of Q1 exceeds the Eureka Tower in the other two categories, namely "Height to the tip of spire, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole" – in this case, spire – and height to architectural top of the building.
Floors 82 to 87, marketed as Summit Levels, contain only one apartment per floor, each with an original price of A$7 million for the unfurnished floor space alone.
The highest floors of the tower house an observation deck (level 88), restaurant (level 89), communications room and balcony (90) and water tanks (90 and 91). A system of pumps constantly moves water between the two 300,000 litre tanks to counteract wind-induced oscillations.
The observation deck (Eureka Skydeck 88) occupies the entire 88th floor of the Eureka Tower and is the highest public vantage point in a building in the Southern Hemisphere at 285 m (935 ft). It opened to the public on 15 May 2007. An entry fee applies to access the Skydeck.
The Skydeck features thirty viewfinders that help visitors to pinpoint numerous significant landmarks around all parts of Melbourne, along with several free binoculars. There is a small outside area called 'The Terrace' which is closed in high winds. There is also a glass cube called 'The Edge', which extends itself from the building to hang over the edge of the tower and add to the viewing experience.
On 10 January 2005, Grocon, the firm building Eureka Tower, proposed adding a 53.8 m (176.5 ft) communications mast/observation tower. The proposal is currently before the local planning commission. This mast would be a significant structure, used for providing an adventure climb to the tip of the summit.
On 16 April 2006, a new proposal was announced that the construction company and developers were considering options for the building to have a "skywalk" that would take daring people up 350 metres high. The proposed structure may also include a communications tower.
Skydeck 88 features 'The Edge' – a glass cube which projects 3 m (10 ft) out from the building with visitors inside, suspended almost 300 m (984 ft) above the ground. When one enters, the glass is opaque as the cube moves out over the edge of the building. Once fully extended over the edge, the glass becomes clear.
From June 2013, Grant Harris, environmental scientist, Stu Jones structural engineer, and Lloyd Godman ecological artist carried out an experiment placing Tillandsia plants on 4 locations on the tower. Two different species were placed at four levels: 56, 65, 91, and on top at level 92. These plants grow with no soil or watering / nutrient system and on Eureka Tower were exposed to the elements where they proved to grow through winter, salt winds over 200 km/h and a hot dry summer. The plants were checked over a 12-month period, grew and even flowered. As far as can be ascertained this is the highest building with plants on and the experiment paved the way for utilizing Tillandsia on high-rise buildings.
Construction began August 2002 and took 4 years and 2 months.
The tower was built using reinforced concrete using a slipform method. Eureka Tower's lift core superseded the height of Rialto Towers on 9 November 2004.
On 23 May 2006, the crane on top of the tower was dismantled by a smaller crane, which was dismantled by a smaller crane that could be taken down the service elevator.
Eureka Tower has 24 carat (99.9%) gold plated glass windows on the top 10 floors of the building. Installation of the gold glass was completed in March 2006. Apartment owners and tenants had taken up residence in the building between Ground Level and Level 80 as of July 2006.
On 11 October 2006, the tower was officially opened by then Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks.
A new and innovative 2-floor Lubeca jumpform system was used to:
Grocon purchased the Singapore company Lubeca in 2000, and then did more R&D to come up with the 2-floor jumpform system.
Since 2012 the Eureka Climb event has been held annually. Participants climb 1642 steps to the observation deck.The current record is 7 minutes to climb up 88 floors.