The Rialto Tower

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Rialto Tower

 

The Rialto Towers or, as it is more commonly referred to, the Rialto, is the southern hemisphere’s

tallest office and second tallest reinforced concrete building when measured up to the roof.

Other skyscrapers in Australia are taller if their spires are taken into account. However, there is a

19 meter antenna atop the tower. The Rialto holds address at 525 Collins Street, which is in the

western part of Melbourne’s business district.

The construction of the Rialto Towers saw some delays because the site was already occupied by

two buildings. One of which was the Victorian-inspired 5-storey office building named Robb’s Buildings.

It was designed by Thomas Watts and Sons. This historic structure was supposedly the tallest building

in the city center of Melbourne in 1885. The other building was from the 1920s, and was roughly the same size as the Robb’s Buildings.

After several debates, Robb’s buildings was eventually demolished to give way to the Rialto Towers. Gerard de Preu and Partners in association with Perrott Lyon Mathieson designed the modern

concrete and glass skyscraper. Construction began in 1982, and the opening took place in October 1986. The building was named after the older Rialto Building beside it.

The most distinctive feature of the Rialto is its glass façade that changes color as the light changes throughout the day. The colors bouncing off the glass skyscraper’s surface range from a soothing dark blue to a luminous gold when the sun sets.

 
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