Where the tall ones are: a construction snapshot of the CBD's northern talls

One of the northern CBD's new breed of skyscrapers reached a monumental construction marker last week. Hengyi Australia's Light House apartment development appeared sans jump form, signifying the termination of the tower at 69 levels above Elizabeth Street.

Using Light House's milestone as a nominal halfway point of development for the current crop, it's an opportune time to provide an update on the progress of the many towers that are transforming the CBD's northern fringe into a much taller, denser environment.

Light House and Empire will go no higher

Light House has been joined by Empire in having its jump form removed, with the latter terminating at 62 levels. Also along the north-south Elizabeth Street axis, the distinctly green Victoria One is approaching the 200m mark, on its way to an eventual floor count of 75 and the mantle of Elizabeth Street's tallest building.

A'Beckett Street's Avant is shaping as the precinct's most daring tower in terms of facade treatment, defined by its vibrant purple facade and stretched diagrid exterior; the project has approximately 35 floor left prior to its topping out.

Avant, Aurora and Scape Swanston. Images: Ryan Seychell

Avant's purple exterior is matched by that of another Elenberg Fraser-designed tower nearby, with the curving EQ Tower all but complete.

At 63 levels, the tower reached its significant marker during December, with a topping out ceremony held onsite. According to developer ICD Property, the balance of apartments are due to settle during April.

EQ Tower standing tall. Image: Ryan Seychell

Aurora Melbourne Central as the area's biggest build is progressing well, with the podium structure for the 88 level goliath at its mid point. Also marching along is Scape Student Living's first Melbourne project at 393 Swanston Street. Regular floor plates and a precast exterior which is installed with windows in situ has allowed construction on the 42 storey building to rocket along.

Further toward the CBD's north-east corner, both Conservatory and 42-50 La Trobe Street are at early stages of their construction life, with both projects being undertaken by builder Hickory Group.

Laurence Dragomir's 2016 depiction of Melbourne's CBD

As the area's unprecedented construction growth changes the northern CBD's environs, it's far from a completed product. Various high-rise projects have yet to make their mark on the skyline, including some very tall buildings.

308 Exhibition Street, Queens Place, 111 A'Beckett Street, RMIT's new mixed-use A'Beckett Street tower and Scape Student Living's reworked 97 Franklin Street are but a few of the projects that can be expected in coming years. Add a raft of smaller skyscrapers that are either at planning or hold approval, in addition to Victoria Market's mooted high-rise buildings, and the built form transformation in the area has many towers yet to come.

308 Exhibition Street, Scape CUB and 111 A'Beckett Street

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