Royal Society of Victoria floats a plan for Melbourne's tallest skyscraper

Royal Society of Victoria floats a plan for Melbourne's tallest skyscraper
Mark BaljakMay 12, 2018

The Royal Society of Victoria has floated an ostentatious bid to deliver Melbourne's tallest skyscraper on one of the city's smallest land plots.

Dubbed 'Magic' the tower is slated to stand at 330 metres, surpassing Eureka Tower at 297 metres and the approved but yet to be built 1 Queensbridge at 323 metres. Decibel Architecture has joined forces with the Royal Society of Victoria to champion the project.

The scheme would be the nation's and the southern hemisphere's tallest skyscraper if realised.

The land area earmarked for the tower is a triangular vacant plot approximately the size of a tennis court on the corner of La Trobe and Victoria streets at the northern tip of the city, directly opposite Carlton Gardens and the Royal Exhibition Building. The development would also serve to allow Royal Society of Victoria to:

  • Support citizen science, technology, and science clubs across Melbourne and Victoria
  • Enhance and upgrade the heritage-listed home of the RSV to meet modern accessibility requirements and be fit for the 21st century public engagement required.
  • Develop a science engagement centre and science café
  • Create a perpetual endowment fund, enabling the RSV’s purpose, projects and awards programs to be supercharged for the next 160 years
Royal Society of Victoria floats a plan for Melbourne's tallest skyscraper
RSV's envisaged skyscraper at the northern end of town. Image: Decibel Architecture

'Magic' is directly opposite S P Setia's twin-towered Shangri-La Hotel and apartment development at 308 Exhibition Street. When built, both of the towers at S P Setia's project will stand beyond the 200 metre mark in height, yet are comfortably dwarfed by Decibel Architecture's scheme.

Royal Society of Victoria notes that the skyscraper would serve a dual purpose. In addition to allowing for the upgrade of its adjacent home, the tower would also be a showcase for technology.

Decibel Architecture's Dylan Brady said of the team's aspirations:

We intend to attract the minds of people like Elon Musk, like Richard Branson like Bill Gates, who all have philanthropic-driven understandings of value, who would love a fantastic apartment with a brilliant view knowing that the profit of their apartment is being channelled into the scientists and the science outreach programs of the Royal Society of Victoria for the next 160 years.

This is not a development play, this is not a large corporation making a lot of money and running away, this is a community-driven, purpose project.

According to the development team the skyscraper is feasible from an engineering perspective, with the next step potentially a tilt at planning approval.

This may prove a more difficult step in the tower's process given the various heritage and planning overlays that would require approval from Heritage Victoria, the Federal Government from an aviation operations standpoint, and the Victorian Government.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

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