Whoever visits Australia gets to know a land of contrasts where just about everything catches the eye. Apart from its natural beauties and traces left be ancient still little-known civilizations, this country is also the place where modernity flourishes like in few other places. The Australian cities can compare easily with their American or European correspondents. And every modern society needs its modern symbols, so here they are: record breaking-skyscrapers making the sky seem a little closer.
The Rialto Towers
If you get to Melbourne, you won’t find a “forest” made of skyscrapers like in other parts of the world. What you will find however, will not disappoint you. For the start, The Rialto Towers: the building is located at 525 Collins Street in the western side of the central business district of Melbourne. Even if records, especially those related to skyscrapers were made to be broken again and again, The Rialto has remained the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere. Starting 1994 it has been the 21st member of the World Federation of Great Towers, its 55th floor observation platform becoming the “secretary general” in 2000.
The towers were built between 1982 and 1986 and got the name of the much older and less, less taller historical construction, The Rialto Building. Because of it, the towers’ construction encountered difficulties as it was believed that the two would not fit in together. But the discussions were soon over and the building was finally constructed, being for 20 years the ultimate leader with its height of 253 meters. 95 kilometers of lift cables, 1,8 hectares of glass window and 9 hectares of quality carpet , in total 228,000 tons of materials were used for its creation; simply looking at it will give you a good idea where all that went: the building is a true giant, a giant with an elegant figure of dark-colored glass.
The Eureka Tower
The Eureka Tower is the one that ended Rialto’s supremacy when it was inaugurated on the 1st of October 2006. At its 297 meters height it was announced to be the tallest apartment building in the Southern Hemisphere. However, the building of Q1, an even taller tower, spoiled everyone’s plans, or at least for the moment as it is planned to place another 50-meter tall “peak” on the building’s top in order to make it the absolute champion. The Eureka Tower is inhabited from the 11th to the 80th floor, its 13 elevators being the fastest in Australia. They can can get from the base to the top floor in just 30 seconds, reaching a speed of 9 meters/second.
Once you get to the 88th floor of the building, you’ll enjoy the 100-kilometer circular panorama offered by Eureka Skydeck. Above it, there is a meeting hall and a bar. The tower is a well-known tourist attraction so if you’re courageous enough you can try a specially organized walk on the rooftop. Eureka was inaugurated after 5 years of construction in the presence of Steve Bracks, the Victorian premier. On this occasion 300 golden golden balloons were launched, for each meter of the construction. Tempted by a life at the top of the world? Well, everyone would be, except for the people suffering of acrophobia, maybe; unfortunately, the prices of each of the 566 apartments are far from being accessible. The customers are usually wealthy people as an apartment can cost between 675.000 and 10 million $ (at the 87th level). As a curiosity, which would have definitely made Al Bundy furious, a shoe salesman paid 925 000 $ on one of the apartments.
The Q1 Tower
Meaning Queensland Number One, this spectacular building is located in Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast. It already sounds too good to be true. Its name was given in the honor of the Australian rowing Olympic team from the 1920’s which was called Q1. Its unique figure is said to be inspired by the Olympic torch in 2000, which can be noticed with the naked eye. At its 322,5 meters, Q1 qualifies as world’s tallest all-residential building, having 536 apartments. Anyone thinking about buying one of them should definitely not worry about safety: its foundation is buried 45 meters under the surface, 4 meters of it in a rock 5 times tougher then concrete, on 26 pillars with a diameter of 2 meters. No matter how powerful a cyclone may be, the tower will stagger with no danger for the inhabitants.
See also: 18 Amazing Glass Floor Experiences
The building is just as impressive on the inside as on the outside. On the 77th and 78th floor there is an observation platform which offers enough space for 400 people and the possibility to see up to 80 kilometers around you. Another great attraction is the “sky garden” at the 60th floor, which is the only 10-level tropical greenhouse in the world, also being illuminated at night. Even though some decided to take the plunge and pay a fortune on an apartment ( the Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe paid 950,000 $ while a Japanese business man spent over 8 million $ on one), a third of the homes are to be rented for a short time. This is why the apartments have laundries and kitchens so that the guest would feel just like home…even though way above the ground.