6 posts in this thread / 0 new
Last post

The Rialto Towers

Peter Maltezos's picture

The Rialto Towers

525 Collins Street


Completed in1986

Gerard de Preu & Partners

63 storeys (another 3 underground), 253 metres tall


Continued Mies Van Der Rohe’s 1920s visions of skyscrapers as soaring glass crystals. The Rialto is the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere and also one of the tallest reinforced concrete towers in the world today.

I have always found that the Rialto looks its best from a distance and in the late afternoon due to one of its most striking features, its changing colours as the setting sun reflects off its glass skin.

My only dislike, is its uninspiring podium, even after it was redesigned years ago. However all is forgiven, because its former observation deck, now restaurant and bar still makes it a popular city tourist destination.


Rialto Towers trivia


• Construction began on the Rialto in October 1982 and was completed October 1986.

• Prior to the Rialto Towers being built, the site was occupied by small office buildings.

• The owners are St. Martins Pty Ltd and Grollo Australia Pty Ltd.

• The builder was Grollo Australia Pty Ltd.

• The observation deck on level 55 was opened to the public on 20 July 1994 and closed on the 31 December 2009. Up market restaurant Vue de monde has now moved in to replace the former observation deck.

• There are 1254 stairs to the former observation deck.

• The towers have 13,000 windows.


The Rialto Towers under construction ~ 1984.


Postcard of the Rialto Towers.


The reflective glass.


Rialto in the foreground with King Street on the left running vertically.


Six photographs of my own below.





Reflected in the Stock Exchange.


The old Rialto with Rialto Towers in the background.


A postcard showing the view east from the former observation deck.


The website:

Back to top
Peter Maltezos's picture

Views looking out from level 55 at the Rialto Towers (Vue de monde restaurant).




I collect, therefore I am.

Back to top
Peter Maltezos's picture

Two photos by Uewepuep from Melbourne Photos.

  Photo by Raul Sobon on flickr from the Westgate Bridge.  


I collect, therefore I am.

Back to top
Peter Maltezos's picture

New five-level tower to wrap around Rialto base

July 2, 2015 - 9:06PM Clay Lucas

On Thursday, Lorenz Grollo said the new $100 million project "wrapped" around the existing tower would have levels that joined floors in the Rialto.

He said the new building was an important development for the Grollo family.

"Next year, Rialto is going to be 30 years old since the family got the certificate of occupancy," he said. "The key thing for us is to reinvigorate so we stay up with the times."

Commercial estate agent and developer Bill McHarg was a member of the "Collins Street Defence" movement that helped save some of Melbourne's most striking heritage buildings during the conservation battles of the 1970s and 1980s.

Many battles were lost, including one to save the Robb's Building on the corner where the new five-level building will be located.

The Robb's Building at the corner of Collins and King Streets, pictured in 1890, was demolished in 1982 to make way for the Rialto Towers.

Image courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

I collect, therefore I am.

Back to top
Fedsquared's picture

John Cleese spruiking the Rialto in the 80s.

Back to top
Alastair Taylor's picture

That's one for the pool room!

Back to top
My Real Estate Mate logo

Development & Planning

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 00:00
Following its acquisition of Waterfront City late in 2014, current owners Ashe Morgan have moved to further reinvent and reposition the precinct, which includes Harbour Town and the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel as major drawcards. The first stage of overhaul works which were concentrated on Harbour Town are concluding. These...

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 14:30
On Monday 24th of October, the iCities: World Class CBDs series conference kicks off. First held in Kuala Lumpur, this year's conference is to be held at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. iCities is owned and operated by iProperty Group, a network property under the REA Group umbrella brand. Over...


Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”. Perhaps the most striking example of this juxtaposition between old and new is the Coops Shot...

Transport & Design

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 07:00
108 Leicester Street is a collection of eight multi-level Fitzroy townhouses that have been designed to respond to the changing face of multi-residential living in Melbourne. The hybrid inner-city dwellings combine developer/builder FOURSQ with Melbourne firm BKK Architects. The design acknowledges the housing typologies of the development's Fitzroy neighbourhood with...

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 00:00
The proposed new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) on Sturt Street is shaping to become much more than a cutting edge venue. While the project has been given coverage to date across a range of mediums, very little has been said regarding the project playing an integral part in the...