I’VE always been fascinated by skyscrapers, not so much from the inside (I’d live in fear I’d sleepwalk and fall out the window) but by the impact they have on a skyline.
I was lucky enough to get to the top of one of the World Trade Centre towers before they were so terrifyingly brought down and often head to any city’s tallest building to check out the view.
In Brisbane, the current tallest tower is the Meriton. Actually its official name is Soleil but since the word Meriton is the sign on top that’s good enough for me and everyone else seems to know what I’m talking about.
It stands, well, head and shoulders above the rest of the city and no matter which direction you are coming from, it’s the one you see jutting up like the phone bill on a household expenses bar graph, from miles around.
They say that in some suburbs house prices went up because residents there could say they had a city view. Weird.
Although I regularly use the Meriton building as a guide back towards the city, until recently I had no idea of just where it was or how to find it and strangely, I literally found myself beside it without even realizing I was getting close.
I had been enjoying a river walk and when the path ran out, and I found myself in the quaint Arch Lane (with a view of the Spring Hill church on the hill above).
There was also an amazing high old stone wall that appears to date from colonial times, and stairs leading down to a courtyard full of palms. The tops of the palms brushed the top of the old wall where I stood.
All I first noticed was the bright red decorative features but once I had crossed the street I realised that there I was, standing at the bottom of the tower, the big one.
It’s a narrow building rising from a 1500 sq m corner block at the Story Bridge end of Adelaide Street.
The design was approved in 2008 (the first had been rejected by Brisbane City Council as appalling) It opened in September 2011 although it wasn’t officially finished until early 2012 and its excavation had been the biggest in Brisbane’s history.
It’s 234 metres or 74 storeys high, the same height at Meriton’s World Tower, the tallest residential building in Sydney.
Inside are 464 residential apartments, 43 levels of them privately owned, 25 floors of serviced apartments and three of retail space. There’s no penthouse.
In any event, you can’t miss seeing it even if you can’t quite find its roots at first attempt.