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May 8, 2020

The Green Spine: Melbourne’s Newest (and Australia’s Tallest) Skyscraper

Kathryn Shanks
The Green Spine: Melbourne’s Newest (and Australia’s Tallest) Skyscraper
Despite the unexpected turns 2020 has taken, Melbourne’s cityscape is continuing to evolve and grow, with the Australian Government bringing several construction projects forward.

Being actively involved in the property sector for many years, I am all too familiar with the importance of large-scale projects and the economic effects they have on the community. One of the most exciting new projects to be approved is the Green Spine, a major lifestyle precinct slated to be built in Melbourne’s Southbank. The skyscraper will be the tallest in Australia, and its distinctive urban design will lead Melbourne's modern buildings into a new era of architecture.

As a collaboration between international design studio UNStudio and Australian architectural firm Cox Architecture, the Green Spine embodies a cohesive and carefully considered design, integrating an appreciation for Melbourne’s evolving metropolitan landscape at its core. The multi-purpose skyscraper, which is actually comprised of two interconnected buildings, is conceptualised as a single mass split open to ‘reveal the almost geological strata’ of its centre. With reflective glass on the outer facades and tiered greenery on the dual ‘interiors’, the Green Spine appears like a plant-filled geode that towers above the surrounding city. The twisting design spirals into the air and complements the natural theme with an organic form, completed with a botanical garden that crowns the skyscraper. The ample use of glass enables light to permeate the structures and grants vast city views, amplifying the connectedness of the two structures past their shared aesthetic.

The Green Spine will constitute ‘a city in itself’, including spaces for arts and culture programmes, private residences, commercial offices, retail, a hotel, a health and wellness precinct, and public green areas, such as the rooftop botanical gardens. At over 350 metres high, the building will take seven years to construct, employing approximately 4700 people in the process. In our current times of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19, the project will stimulate the economy and provide job security, helping the Australian economy to recover from the impact of the pandemic. It will also provide a go-to precinct for Melburnians and tourists alike, complementing and extending the cultural – and multicultural – nature of Melbourne well into the future.

The Green Spine is an impressive project that will make a mark on both the city’s skyline and its cultural development. The twisting greenery will be a beacon for the community in Melbourne’s CBD, and we at Casper & Casper can’t wait to see its completion. We know that the boost to the economy that the project represents is something to celebrate – and we’re very excited for construction to start.

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