This elegant Tower on the summit of Black Mountain has won two awards for outstanding design.
The first was in 1979, when the Tower was nearing completion. That award was for imaginative and effective use of concrete in a building. Later, the Tower won its second award, the 1980 Civic Design Award of the ACT Chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
Unquestionably, the Tower has become a major tourist attraction in Canberra. In the first nine months after its opening to the public, the Tower had almost half a million visitors.
Outer diameter 20.9 metres
Inner diameter 7.2 metres
Total depth 3.28 metres
Steel reinforcement 112 tonnes
Concrete volume 630 cubic metres
Base diameter 20.9 metres
Top diameter 3.9 metres
Wall thickness .65 metres
Steel reinforcement 335 tonnes
Concrete volume 1,930 cubic metres
Shaft height 132.3 metres
Steel antenna column
Steel members 90.0 tonnes
Column height 63.1 metres
Two levels each 59.7mx40.0m
Public entry lobby 10.3m diameter
3 levels average diameter 27.56 metres
Total volume 12,690.49 cubic metres
3 levels average diameter 27.89 metres
Total volume 8,446.43 cubic metres
The structure rises over 195 metres above the mountain summit and consists of a self-supporting reinforced concrete circular shaft, which carries three levels of technical equipment for radio-telephone purposes, as well as two open and two enclosed levels for public use. The Tower has very sophisticated lightning strike protection. All reinforcing steel is tied together, as are stainless steel railings which earth 30 metre copper rods drilled into the mountain. The 90 tonne steel mast is socketed into the concrete Tower and is designed to sway one and a half metres from’ the centre.
The concrete shaft terminates at the 132.3 metre level and from this point the Tower becomes an open lattice steel structure which supports antennas for television and other services. The podium from which the Tower rises, provides access and amenities for visitors at lower ground and ground floor level. Space for television and FM radio broadcasting, other engineering services and car parking is accommodated within the two floors below ground level.
The three floors of accommodation for business sales and radio communication facilities are located between the 30.5 metre and 42.7 metre levels providing space for broadband communication dishes, platforms, relay equipment, equipment for mobile services, battery plant, air conditioning plant and television bearer switching, as well as broadcast station monitoring facilities.
The public floors situated between the 54 metre and 66.1 metre levels, consist of one floor containing a restaurant with a revolving platform, one floor containing a snack bar plus an enclosed viewing gallery, and two floors of open viewing including a coffee lounge.