Eureka Towers, Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC, Australia
Exterior – Free to view
Interior – Largely residential, public access
You might be surprised to learn that the most iconic skyscraper of Melbourne's skyline has several interesting links to Greece.
First and foremost, it was designed by Greek-Australian architect Nonda Katsalidis.
Secondly, it is named after the Eureka Stockade, hence its gold accents. The word Eureka has its origins in the ancient Greek heúrēka which means "I have found (it)" — a phrase which was famously shouted by ancient Greek scientist Archimedes upon discovering the principle of buoyancy.
The lower levels of the river-facing side of the building feature large gold sculptural bees. The architect and artist have stated that these artworks are intended to symbolise the 'buzzing hive' of inner-city high density living and commerce, but bees are also significant in ancient Greece. They were considered servants of the gods, and associated with knowledge, health and power. Some Greek philosophers even believed that people could be reincarnated as bees!
Prompts & Activities
Why do you think the architect used Greek influences in this building? How does it relate to its purpose, and the people who occupy it?
Do you think the Greek influence is self-evident in this building, or is it a case of very hidden Hellenism?
What is your favourite element of this building? Does it have interesting ornamentation? What part does this element play in the overall design of the building, and why might it have been included? You might like to draw your favourite components! Observational sketching is a great way to get a deeper understanding of something.
Explore other landmarks:
Hellenic Museum • State Library of Victoria • Glyn Davis Building • Immigration Museum • Temple of Boom • Parliament House • Shrine of Remembrance • Melbourne GPO • Nicholas Building • Eureka Tower • Greek Centre • Trades Hall • Former Mail Exchange • Collins St Baptist Church • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons • Emily McPherson College