Australia's second largest city Melbourne could possibly have the tallest building in the southern hemisphere after a recent approval for a new 388-metre (1,280 foot) apartment and hotel complex
The Victorian state government said ‘Australia 108’ would become the world’s 19th tallest building on completion and would be “an outstanding addition to Melbourne's skyline”. There were some concerns that the construction of the 108-storey tower in the city's Southbank area, expected to be ready in five years, would cast a shadow over the Shrine of Remembrance war memorial, one of the city's best-known landmarks. But the trustees of the shrine reportedly did not object to the proposal, which is an Aus$600 million investment in the state economy that would create 300 jobs in construction and hospitality.
Architect Nonda Katsalidis said the building which will have 646 apartments, a 288-room six-star hotel plus retail and office space, was designed to throw a spotlight on the city's international identity. “We don't have an Opera House (like Sydney) but we have a complex culture and all those ideas were thrown into this project,” said Katsalidis. The hotel at the top is designed as a starburst, inspired by the stars on the Australian flag. The world's tallest building is Dubai's Burj Khalifa at 828 metres high while Europe’s tallest skyscraper, the Shard in London, stands at 310 metres (1,017 feet). The current tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere is the Q1 tower on Queensland’s Gold Coast in Australia, which soars 323 metres to 71 storeys. But ‘Australia 108’ could be trumped by South Africa's Centurion Symbio City, a 447 metre tower to be built by 2018 near Pretoria.