18 Mar 2013

Go-ahead for tallest building in southern hemisphere

3:30 pm on 18 March 2013

The state government in Victoria has given the go-ahead for what will be the tallest building in the southern hemisphere.

The 108-storey hotel and apartment building is planned for Melbourne's Southbank area. At 388 metres it will outsoar the country's current tallest building, the 323-metre Q1 residential tower on Queensland's Gold Coast.

The Melbourne City Council had opposed the project for fear it would cast a shadow over a city landmark, the Shrine of Remembrance, but state planning minister Matthew Guy says most of the council's concerns have been addressed and the shrine trustees support the project.

Architect Nonda Katsalidis, of Fender Katsalidis Architects, told ABC radio the new building will look spectacular.

"The hotel at the top is designed as a starburst," he says. "We took the inspiration from the stars on the Australian flag."

The building is expected to be finished in about four and a half years' time.