Skylines of ‘skinny’ skyscrapers are seen in New York City and Hong Kong but Melbourne is emerging as Australia’s own city of pencil towers.
The slenderness of a pencil tower is based on the site’s width in proportion to the building’s height. The towers are usually comprised of residential apartments.
The Sydney City Council is not yet known for skinny tower developments in contrast to Melbourne, which already has the Phoenix Tower in Flinders Street which takes eight steps to walk from one side to the other. Construction has begun on Collins Tower at 466 Collins Street and will be one of the world’s skinniest towers, measuring 195 metres tall and 12 metres wide. Also in the pipeline is The Magic Tower in Victoria Street which will be a 60 storey, 330 metre building on a small triangular site.
The reason why slender towers are prevalent in Melbourne recently, is that the former Victoria Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, issued a number of permits
These buildings are not more efficient, nor cost effective to build as the engineering around a slender tower is more complex and more expensive than a regular building. That said a slender tower is generally more lucrative to sell, especially where on free standing sites as the towers tend to have a whole floor apartment on each level and have views in various directions.
So expect to see a few more super-tall, super-skinny (and super-expensive?) pencil towers gracing the CBD!