Touch the Sky

Eureka Tower

Eureka Tower has become one of Melbourne’s most coveted home addresses. “Its residents enjoy lavish and spacious apartments with the best views in Melbourne,” Ms Hall points out, and indeed, the Southbank location is second to none. “On Eureka’s doorstep are great restaurants, wine bars and entertainment. With the Arts centre a short stroll away, residents can enjoy the best the world has to offer in entertainment and artistic culture. The Crown Casino is a hop, skip and jump away for residents who are up for a playful night on the town. Then of course, there is the best shopping available with Southgate just out the front door and Melbourne City a short and delightful walk over the footbridge across the famous Yarra River.”

In addition to being just a short stroll from public transport, each apartment comes with its own car space. “Residents can choose their form of transport for work and play, knowing that when they yearn for that country drive, they have the freedom to do that also,” Ms Hall points out. Eureka Tower’s many amenities may tempt residents to stay put, however. There is a gym, pool, sauna, outdoor lounge area and 30 seat cinema inside the building. A Concierge team puts on a steady stream of functions, including Tai Chi and Yoga classes, social clubs, resident get-togethers, the Coffee Club, special cinema screenings for kids, and special screenings for events like the World Cup. These events bring residents together, “creating a great sense of community and care for neighbours and all within the building,” Ms Hall remarks. Eureka Tower residents also participate in a variety of charitable initiatives such as the Good Friday Appeal, Anzac Day, and gift giving for those less fortunate at Christmas time.

Eureka Tower also hosts major events for the entire Melbourne community. “[As] an iconic building to Melbourne’s Skyline, Eureka Tower is asked to become involved in some great events around Melbourne,” Ms Hall shares. For example, there is a gruelling annual Stair Climb Challenge event, which is due to take place on Sunday 16 November 2014. “This amazing event has had over 2,400 participants in the past aiming to climb 1642 steps over 88 levels in record time, raising money for charities,” Ms Hall explains. The building is also lit up on special occasions to raise awareness for causes such as Autism and is a prime venue selected by the City of Melbourne for their Melbourne New Year’s Eve Fireworks display.

In addition to hosting charity events, Eureka Tower is also a learning ground for young architects and surveyors, as well as a training site for the Melbourne Fire Brigade; the building is also the site of an ongoing horticultural experiment. “The adventure and learning continues as Eureka Tower embarks on an adventurous project with experimental air plants ‘Tillandsia’ placed on the Eureka Tower roof, as well as levels 56 and 65,” Ms Hall says. For the next several months, ecological artist Lloyd Goodman and his team will analyse the growth of these plants as they are subjected to extreme weather conditions in their effort to develop “a lightweight, lower maintenance alternative to vertical gardens in the future.”

Visitors can take a fast trip to Level 88 in just 38 seconds via the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest lift; they are greeted by panoramic, floor-to-ceiling-views in the tower’s dramatic observation deck, Skydeck 88. The sweeping vista extends all the way to the Dandenong ranges and includes Melbourne’s CBD, sports precinct, Port Phillip Bay, and Docklands. Special viewfinders help history buffs and school groups pinpoint Melbourne’s many historical and cultural landmarks. Night-time visitors will be dazzled by Melbourne’s dreamy nightscape, lights twinkling like stars far below.

Bolder guests can literally take the experience a step further by venturing onto ‘The Edge’, a glass cube suspended 300 metres above the ground. These adventurers can wander three metres past the tower’s walls to feel as though they are floating above the miniature cars and people far beneath. And, to prove that they really were brave enough to step out onto the dizzying glass floor, tourists can pick up a souvenir photo of themselves inside ‘The Edge’ at Skydeck 88’s gift shop.

Visitors can also step through the air-lock and out onto the Terrace for an intense, outdoor experience amidst high wind gusts and spectacular scenery. The Terrace provides an outside perspective of The Edge in action, and free high powered binoculars provide excellent reflection-free viewing of the surrounding cityscape.

The dramatic experience attracts hordes of people each year. “Eureka Skydeck 88 has become one of Melbourne’s most visited attractions,” says Eureka Tower General Manager, Antoinette Hall. “It is the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere.”

Guests seeking dramatic views will also enjoy Eureka 89 Events & Dining, located on the Tower’s top floor. This spectacular space “combines sleek design with glorious views” to create an unforgettable experience. “Catering for functions both large and small, Eureka 89 is available for your most exclusive events,” Ms Hall says. With seating for parties of two up to parties of 24, the venue is ideal for a range of occasions, from a business dinner to birthdays, anniversaries, or a romantic night out. For the most discerning palate, a five or seven course degustation menu is available on selected evenings.

As with any major structure, Eureka Tower requires a substantial amount of maintenance. “Apart from being a ‘Vertical City’ containing some specialised equipment, from a facilities management point of view, Eureka Tower is really not much different from many other buildings,” says Ms Hall. “Its facilities and assets need to be well looked after in order for it to maintain its elegance and iconic stature into the future. Eureka Tower is fortunate to have one of the best in-house teams on board to make sure that happens.”

It takes a top notch staff to keep things running smoothly. “Running Eureka Tower is a team effort with all building activities managed internally by a knowledgeable and experienced team. This approach keeps knowledge within the building, encourages staff dedication and keeps running costs down.”

Of course, specialised outside expertise is required, and the team is careful to hire the best. “We want to ensure we have the best contracted professionals available to meet the demands of such an iconic and tall building. Equipment must work and work well. When something goes amiss, the professionals we contract are those that understand the workings and needs of Eureka Tower and place it as a high priority customer, whilst delivering high service levels. Many of our contractors will go out of their way to ensure they provide quick response times and knowledgeable service delivery.”

Although Ms Hall has had previous experience working at Eureka Tower, she is fairly new to the General Manager role, and she has been implementing some important new management strategies. “Coming into this role, I thought it was important to develop a business approach to the management of Eureka Tower,” she explains. “With the assistance of the staff and committee, policies and procedures will be revisited, best business practices will be developed and introduced, information technology will be analysed and the creation of a strategic plan will map out a detailed path for the building, giving its current and future management and committees clear direction.” The work is remarkably fulfilling, she adds. “It feels good to be here, looking after the current and future requirements of such an amazing building and those who reside within it.”

Ms Hall says that these residents, as well as the facilities management team, make the building a welcoming place. “[In addition] to complementing Melbourne’s skyline with its gold glow and architectural grace, it also has real warmth to it. The residents who live here and the team that work within it create that warmth, which only enhances its iconic status.”

Almost eight years have passed since Eureka Tower officially opened in October 2006, and Melbourne’s skyline has experienced significant growth during that time. “New buildings continually pop up in a bid to seize some of the magic Eureka Tower residents enjoy,” Ms Hall points out. “It seems evident however, that the thought, inspiration, and creativity that went into Eureka Tower so many years ago is missing in some of these newer concrete structures.” One of the world’s tallest residential buildings, Eureka Tower is a bold, dramatic structure that will not easily be outdone. “Eureka Tower still outshines all those around it and is set to do so well into the future.”

Making Sense of Management

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July 19, 2018, 7:55 PM AEST