Construction company Multiplex has achieved practical completion of the $600 million twin high-rise apartment towers in Melbourne and the future home of the city’s 5-star Shangri-La hotel.

Located in the Melbourne CBD, the 308 Exhibition Street project has been developed by Malaysian developer S P Setia and designed by Fender Katsalidis in collaboration with Cox Architects.

The 60-level residential tower named ‘Sapphire by the Gardens’ features a distinctive façade and houses 325 luxury apartments, including two high end penthouse apartments, and numerous custom-designed apartments.

The 61-level hotel is joined to the 59-level residential tower via a striking sky bridge on level 46.

Internally the sky bridge hosts amenities and a Sky Lounge for visitors and residents, and features a unique transparent ‘oculus’ glass floor with views into the UNESCO world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building surrounding the Carlton Gardens and Port Phillip Bay.

Beneath the two towers stands a mixed-use podium with spaces for resident recreational facilities, future hotel function, and above ground carparking.

Sapphire by the Gardens features exclusive resident facilities across two floors with a heated swimming pool, gymnasium, Sky Lounge, a cinema, karaoke room, chef’s kitchen and lounge with fireplace.

During construction Multiplex coordinated a unique purchaser upgrade which involved the installation of a $3 million supercar into the living room of the luxurious Super-Penthouse.

The Sapphire by the Gardens super-penthouse has set the new benchmark for Melbourne property as the highest recorded apartment sale price in the city.

“We are thrilled to deliver this world-class precinct, and it is testament to the collaboration and determination of our team and subcontractors,” said Ross Snowball, Regional Managing Director of Multiplex.

“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. This iconic development breathes new life into the CBD, and it’s set to become Melbourne’s next landmark.”

Construction of the unique sky bridge required innovative methodologies, 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 successful delivery of the sky bridge saw the project win the ASI 2022 National Award for Engineering Projects.

“The completion of Sapphire by the Gardens and the Shangri-La marks our fifth significant development within Melbourne,” said Datuk Choong Kai Wai, President and CEO of S P Setia.

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

Construction of 308 Exhibition Street spanned four and a half years, generating over 1,000 jobs, with more than 500 workers on site during peak periods.

Multiplex has delivered some of Melbourne’s most complex and iconic residential developments, including the ‘wave-like’ Premier Tower and the super high-rise 100-storey Australia 108.