In 2015, the UK’S Building Design newspaper published a list of the world’s top 100 architecture firms. 6 of Australia’s renowned architecture firms featured on this list. There’s no doubt that the nation is home to some of the most splendid architectural designs in the world. 5 of the ten tallest high rises in Australia sit in the heart of the bustling CBD and its surrounds.
Melbourne also held the record for housing the world's tallest skyscraper, the APA building. The skyline keeps changing, though. Old high rises like the APA building are demolished and reconstructed for better functionality and design. It's worth taking a drive through the neighbourhoods of Carlton, Fitzroy, Brunswick and St. Kilda to discover some of the best architectural designs the city has to offer.
1. Royal Exhibition Building
Step into the late 1800's at the exquisitely designed Royal Exhibition Building. The building still welcomes thousands of locals and tourists each year as it hosts glamorous gala dinners, product launches, extravagant exhibitions and cocktail parties. The building was designed by architect Joseph Reed and it's famous for its round-arched architectural design. It draws its inspiration from architectural styles used during the Byzantine, Roman and Italian Renaissance era. Back in the 1880's, it was the tallest and biggest building in the city. It had an observation platform constructed around the dome so people could walk around and take in the sights of the flourishing city.
2. Collingwood & Fitzroy United Friendly Societies Dispensary
Not too far away from Carlton in the affluent neighbourhood of Fitzroy lies the former Collingwood & Fitzroy United Friendly Societies Dispensary. The building was constructed in the 1800’s with elements of the Victorian and Edwardian period. This heritage listed building of state-wide importance was used as a place to supply medicines and health aids to members of the society. The architecture is a fine example of buildings constructed during the Renaissance and Classical boom.
3. Melbourne Recital Centre
The best acoustic space in the southern hemisphere, the Melbourne Recital Centre boasts of uniquely designed acoustic halls, influenced by European boxed-shaped concert halls. Designed by Ashton Raggat, this recital centre has set the bar high. Its remarkable design enhances the clarity and strength of musical instruments, making it one of the finest music venues in the nation.
4. Eureka Tower Southbank
The Eureka Tower is home to the highest public vantage point in the country. It stands tall at 300 metres and 92 floors, with a glass cube that leaves you suspended above the busy city of Melbourne. It draws its inspiration from the Eureka Stockade which took place in November 1854. Although it's a historic reminder of the battle between the miners and the police, the architecture is very modern and in keeping with the times.
5. 120 Collins Street
Like the Eureka Tower, 120 Collins Street is a notable high-rise that was built in 1991. Designed bearing the Empire State Building in mind, it has 52 floors and a 45-metre spire on top. Several high-profile businesses have set up their offices in this building.
6. Flinders Street Station
This iconic building was constructed in 1905 by builder Peter Rodger. Since stone was quite expensive during that period, it was constructed using red brick and grey granite. Many refurbishments took place in the years that followed but the clocks still remain in place, indicating train timetables as in the days of old.
7. Federation Square
The buildings around the square are of postmodern or deconstructivist style. They consist of complex geometric designs and non-rectilinear shapes. The facades are a blend of sandstone, glass and perforated zinc. The square draws hordes of people for performances, corporate events and ceremonies
8. Shrine of Remembrance
Built between 1928 and 1934, the shrine of remembrance was designed by 2 soldier architects. This monument was built as a memorial for soldiers who died during the Great War. The entrance porticos were designed based on The Parthenon in Athens. The building is surrounded by well-maintained lawns, giving visitors a quiet spot to sit and think about the people they’ve lost.
9. St. Paul’s Cathedral
This Cathedral, built in the late 1800’s, is a reflection of European architecture. Built in neo-gothic transitional style, the Cathedral was constructed on the site where the first Christian worship services were held. Construction of the 3 spires only began in 1926 after a revised design was drawn up.
10. Charsfield Mansion
Built in 1889 by Charles Webb, the heritage listed Charsfield Mansion is one of the oldest homes on St. Kilda Road that once established the neighbourhood as a prestigious suburb. Having been around for well over a century, this beautiful Victorian house tells its own story. For a time, the Italianate mansion was called Chesterfield and was occupied by the army. In 2000, the mansion was extended and converted into a heritage hotel. The Hotel Charsfield stood out with over 40 elegant rooms with high ceilings and a sophisticated dining room complete with fireplace.
EBG developments plan to re-develop this site by building new luxury apartments behind the exquisite mansion, with the mansion itself to be retained as a heritage site and sold as a commercial space. The new apartment developments will offer residents generous floor plans, the finest selection of materials, and contemporary interiors.
To find out more about the current project, visit EBG developments online, or call us on 03 8625 6400.