Science and Magic – Melbourne’s Tallest Tower

A 60-storey tower and science engagement hub in Melbourne’s heart

  • A new science engagement precinct for Melbourne
  • A state-wide science engagement program for Victorian communities
  • A benchmark tower development for the CBD
  • A community-led development proposal

Images and short media clip available here.
The CEO’s message on the consultation and briefing process is here.

A super slender 60 storey residential tower would revitalise Melbourne’s 159-year-old science hub in plans released by the Royal Society of Victoria and Decibel Architecture today.

The proposition will secure a sustainable future for the Royal Society of Victoria, enabling the continuation of their state-wide work into the future, by utilising the small undeveloped triangle of land on the corner of La Trobe Street and Victoria Street to create a bespoke residential tower dedicated to science and the spirit of the Royal Exhibition Buildings World Heritage Precinct. The project will create a flow of millions of dollars to revitalise the Royal Society of Victoria, enabling it to

  • Support citizen science, technology, and science clubs across Melbourne and Victoria;
  • Enhance and upgrade the heritage listed home of the RSV to meet modern accessibility requirements and be fit for the 21st century public engagement required;
  • Develop a science engagement centre and science café, and;
  • Create a perpetual endowment fund, enabling the RSV’s purpose, projects and awards programs to be supercharged for the next 160 years.

The tower, named Magic, will push building technology to the limit and reinforce Melbourne’s leadership in science and liveability. Grocon has worked alongside the team as the development and construction partner and have undertaken to deliver the project at minimum necessary returns to enable the majority of proceeds to be contributed to the RSV’s perpetual endowment fund.

Melbourne is, and always has been, Australia’s science capital. Within four years of Victoria’s foundation, Melbourne had its first university, a museum of natural history, and one of Australia’s oldest scientific research institutions – the Royal Society of Victoria.

The Royal Society’s members established Victoria’s first railways, advised on how to supply a reliable source of fresh water to Melbourne, how to lay down the sanitation system still in use today, how and where best to establish a secure source of food, and how to distribute that food internationally. They commissioned a bold (if ill-fated) exploration of the interior of our continent and kicked off Australia’s exploration and long-term interests in Antarctica.

From that start Melbourne has become the powerhouse of Australian science, contributing to the bionic eye, the cervical cancer vaccine, the first printed jet engine, new plastic technologies, and hundreds of life changing discoveries.

“The revitalised Royal Society will lead adult, student and community engagement in science across the State, from Mildura to Cann River to Portland. Through local kids’ clubs, we will keep the flame of curiosity alive in our youngest scientists. Through lifelong learning, we will offer all Victorians an opportunity to empower themselves to make well-informed decisions, shaping the future of regions and cities alike, and giving our state a distinctive edge in the 21st century,” says Society CEO Mike Flattley.

“Magic, at 1 Victoria Street, will be the most innovative, most sustainable, tallest possible ‘reach for the stars’ proposition that we can create. It will be driven by the world leading Victorian science expertise in the built environment. It will demonstrate ingenuity, cutting edge sustainable technologies and be an iconic marker to Melbourne and our status as Australia’s science capital,” says Dylan Brady, the architect who developed the concept of the tower.

“Grocon is proud to be working with the Royal Society of Victoria and Decibel Architecture on this important project which will secure the future of the Royal Society of Victoria,” says Melinda D’Cruze, a Grocon spokesperson.

“We have committed as a company to Sustainable and Innovative design and working with the designers of our world leading and award-winning Pixel building, will undoubtedly deliver an outstanding addition not only to the Melbourne skyline, but especially to the science community for generations to come.”

“We look forward to working with the various authorities and stakeholders to realise this vision for the RSV and its future.” Says Melinda.

The project will be sold to Victorian and global citizens – high net worth and community-minded individuals who will become, by way of their investment, benefactors contributing to a perpetual endowment fund for the Royal Society of Victoria.

“This is a proposal that aims to sustain the Society’s role in Victorian communities for another 160 years and beyond. Following today’s announcement, we will start the formal process of consultation with government and the community to bring this vision to life. We are briefing all of our members, and the plan will be put to the membership of the Royal Society of Victoria on 24th May,” says Society President David Zerman.

Media call/site inspection: 11 am today, (12 May) Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne with architect, students, robots, tower visualisations.

For further information and interviews please contact:

Member and community feedback:

The RSV understands there will be many ideas and concerns arising from this proposal. We are a small organisation. To enable us to keep track of many conversations, please direct feedback to [email protected] for attention by our Councillors and officers.

Media Documents:

Science and Magic Royal Society of Victoria Press Release final