Republic Tower, the underrated gem

Corner Queen and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne, 3000. 1997-2001 Katsalidis Architects (Nonda Katsalidis).

Rising 122m, The Republic Tower is very prominent on Latrobe Street.

The Republic Tower is a very striking 35 storey brutalist styled skyscraper with the sculptural shape of an armour-clad samurai warrior.

Built from off-form concrete, stainless steel and glass, this building consists of mainly apartments and some retail space. Most of the units were originally sold off as enclosed functional shells to be fitted out as purchasers desired. The building also includes a gymnasium and an impressive 25 metre lap pool with equally impressive views east and west.

The five-storey podium is designed to fit within the streetscape. It includes two street level shops, a café facing La Trobe Street located under a large timber pergola and on Queen Street, rough-cut bluestone blocks lead to an entry into an underground restaurant. Another Katsalidis signature, a large curved billboard acting as an art space on the ground street corner, features a constantly changing display of public art, which is currently sponsored by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart.

I would consider The Republic Tower an underrated gem in Melbourne’s architectural landscape, Katsalidis at his best!

The stainless steel glistens in the sun.


Mark Baljak's picture

Love it!

I'll be doing my best to round up all the MONA display pieces for an article

Back to top
Rohan Storey's picture

I would rate it very highly ! Always have. One of Katsalidis' best.


Back to top
Rohan Storey's picture

Though i see that it didnt ever get an institute award - though his earlier 171 latrobe did.


Back to top

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 00:00
Journal Student Living's move on 500 Swanston Street headlines a fresh drive of student accommodation projects looking to call Carlton home. The $60 build would be Journal's second Melbourne project after 18-32 Leicester Street which is in the hands of Icon Construction. Journal Student Living is backed by South African company Redefine Properties.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.