A look at the tallest buildings in each of Australia’s capital cities, the tallest Australian buildings overall, and upcoming skyscraper construction projects.
March 25th, 2022
The tallest building in Australia is the Q1 skyscraper on the Gold Coast, Queensland. At 322.5 metres, the Q1 is taller than both the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. Construction began in 2002 and the Q1 opened to the public in 2005, becoming the world’s tallest residential building from 2005 to 2011 before dropping to its current 11th place by 2021. It is still the tallest residential building in Australia, measured from base to spire.
The Q1 was designed by SDC and the Buchan Group, taking inspiration from another iconic Australian building: the Sydney Opera House. The architects also drew from the figure of the Olympic torch, as the planning began during the 2000s while the Olympics were being held in Sydney. The ground floors of the Q1 host retail stores, swimming pools, a gymnasium, restaurants and a spa. There are 527 residential apartments in the upper levels, and at the top is an observation deck, SkyPoint, with a 360 degree view of the Gold Coast and one of the fastest elevators in the world.
If measuring only to roof height and/or the highest inhabitable floor, Melbourne’s Australia 108 and second biggest building (the Eureka Skydeck – 297.3m) actually outrank the Q1 for the highest building in Australia.
Continue reading for a list of the tallest buildings in each capital city.
The tallest building in Melbourne, VIC is the Australia 108, at 318.7 metres. Construction began on the Australia 108 tower in 2015 and finished in 2020. The one billion dollar project was designed by Wold Class Land Pty Ltd and provides 1,105 luxury apartments with over 100 habitual residential levels. It also contains exclusive recreational facilities for floors above 71, including a private lobby, gym and infinity pool.
The tallest building in Sydney, NSW is the Crown Tower, a 75 floor skyscraper standing at 271m. The Crown Sydney is also known as One Barangaroo and houses a casino, residential apartments, and a hotel. Construction officially finished in December 2020 and the building was designed by internationally renowned WilkinsonEyre.
The tallest building in Darwin, NT is the 100m Evolution on Gardiner, located in the east of Darwin’s CBD. It is 100m and 33 floors tall, containing two penthouses and 104 apartments as well as five commercial suites at the ground levels. Construction began in July 2006 and was officially finished in July 2008. The Evolution on Gardiner originally faced opposition from the Australian Defence Department for its proposed height, but was eventually allowed to go ahead as intended.
The tallest building in Canberra, ACT is the High Society Tower One, standing at 113m. The tower was designed by Fender Katsalidis and was only recently completed. Currently looking for residents to fill its 541 total apartments, the High Society Tower was another 1-billion-dollar project with attractions such as; a rooftop park, wellness center, children’s play facilities, heated pool area and an observation deck on the top floor. It is designed to accommodate for permanent residency as well as tourist visits.
The tallest building in Adelaide, SA is the 138m tall Frome Central Tower One. Another brand new building on this list, construction on the Frome tower was completed in just 2020. It is a multipurpose building with 37 floors featuring 83 residential apartments and the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It was designed by the architects of Brown Falconer and will likely become an icon of Adelaide in the near future.
The tallest building in Perth is Brookfield Place, standing at 234.4m. It is multipurpose and holds space for offices, curated dining, retail and cultural experiences. Construction finished in 2012 and the building was designed collaboratively by Hassell, Fitzpatrick + Partners. Depending on whether one measures to the roof or to the tip of the communications mast, Brookfield Place may actually only be considered the second largest building in Perth when compared to the Central Park tower – another skyscraper which measures 226m from base to roof and 249m from base to the top of its communications mast.
The tallest building in Hobart is the Wrest Point Casino Hotel Tower, which stands at 73m. The hotel tower houses Australia’s first casino, as well as the Point Revolving Restaurant and views of Tasmania’s iconic land features such as Mount Wellington and the River Derwent. The Wrest Point Casino Hotel is 17 floors, with 6 bars and 269 rooms. The casino was originally built in a bid to boost Tasmania’s tourism industry. It now has over 650 poker machines.
The tallest building in Brisbane, QLD is the Brisbane Skytower at 269.7m. Construction finished in early 2019 and the tower is now composed of 90 above-ground storeys and ten below. It was another $1 billion project and holds 1,138 self-contained apartments ranging from 1-3 bedrooms. The Skytower also features one of the world’s highest infinity-edge outdoor swimming pools, recreation decks and gym facilities. It was designed by Nobel Robinson Architects.
Perhaps the most well-known building which did not make this list is the Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne’s second tallest skyscraper found in the Southbank precinct. The Eureka Tower was completed in June, 2006. Like the High Society Tower One in Canberra, the Eureka Tower’s design was undertaken by Fender Katsalidis. It is a contender for the tallest residential building in Australia, depending on the metric of measurement against the Gold Coast’s Q1 tower.
The West Side Place is a skyscraper currently under construction in Melbourne which will soon join the ranks of the city’s tallest buildings at 268.7m. It is expected to be fully completed and open to the public by 2022. The Orion Towers are proposed skyscrapers in the Gold Coast currently undergoing deliberation. If successful, they will narrowly surpass the Q1 at 238m. 56 Pitt St, Sydney is another proposed skyscraper in the early stages which, if constructed, would become the tallest building in Sydney at approximately 305m.
Perhaps one day the tallest tower in Australia may even reach the height of the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world at a staggering 828 m. For a list of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, see here.
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