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Sapphire by the Gardens tops out

Twin towers on track to receive guests by 2024

The development of the S P Setia Sapphire by the Gardens construction in Melbourne’s CBD has taken a major step forward with both the high-rise towers of the mixed-use precinct ‘topping out’.

Located on the corner of Exhibition and La Trobe Streets and designed by Fender Katsalidis in collaboration with Cox Architecture, the towers stand at an impressive 232 and 220 metres above street level, respectively.

When complete the project will comprise a 62-level, 5-star flagship Shangri-La Hotel and 60-level residential tower housing 325 luxury apartments.

S P Setia Sapphire by the Gardens topping out team members

The 500-room hotel will be joined to the residential tower via a unique Sky Lounge on Level 46, featuring a glass floor oculus that overlooks the UNESCO world heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding Carlton Gardens.

With a striking façade featuring champagne gold fins, the Hotel will also deliver the largest ballroom space in Melbourne’s CBD, graced with elegant six-metre-high ceilings.

Shangri-La Melbourne will offer a variety of guestrooms, including family rooms, Horizon Club guestrooms, Premier and Presidential Suites, as well as a range of bars and restaurants with alfresco dining, expansive conference facilities, a spa, gym and wellness centre and an indoor heated pool.

S P Setia Sapphire by the Gardens

Distinctive features of the Sapphire by the Gardens apartment tower include an activated podium with overhanging plants over terraced podiums integrated into the façade.

Premium resident amenities across two floors include a heated infinity edge swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, Sky Lounge, a cinema, karaoke room, chef’s kitchen and lounge with fireplace.

According to Multiplex, the site had more than 400 workers daily at its peak with over 2 million hours worked to date.

The project is forecast to generate over 1,000 jobs including permanent roles within the Hotel on completion. The unique Skybridge design posed construction challenges, with Multiplex creating a temporary protection deck beneath it to enable safe working access.

This deck cantilevered out from the building and sat between two large trusses. The first residents are expected to move into apartments in October, 2022 with construction of the precinct on track for completion early in 2023. The Hotel will welcome its first guests in 2024.

President and CEO of S P Setia, Datuk Choong Kai Wai said the completion of Sapphire by the Gardens and the Shangri-La will mark the company’s fifth significant development within Melbourne.

“We are thrilled to see this iconic development come to life and stimulate thousands of local jobs during and after construction,” he said.

Graham Cottam, Regional Managing Director of Multiplex, which is managing the construction, said he was delighted to have reached this milestone.

“Constructing two towers simultaneously takes exceptional planning and management, especially when facing construction and engineering complexities like the iconic sky bridge, 46-storeys in the air,” he said.

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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