JOURNAL/ April/2014


Australian Embassy Washington DC

Perfect Symmetry

In 1964, Bates Smart and McCutcheon were appointed to design the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. This prestigious commission was a high honour and a rare opportunity.

Fifty years on we are proud to report that this elegant building has defied the test of time.

The Australian chancery was the first purpose-built antipodean embassy since Australia House, London, built in 1918. It had to fulfill a demanding brief including high security, fall-out shelters as well as ambassadorial and diplomatic suites and was located in a city largely dedicated to the Beaux-Arts architectural style.

The resulting abstract form acknowledged the city's preoccupation with the Beaux-Arts while following the contemporary US embassy style of classical modernism and adhering to the city's height restrictions.

Facades of perfect symmetry and order are clad in white Tennesse marble with bronze tinted glass. The interior makes extensive use of Australian timbers, furnishings and contemporary Australian art.

Sydney Studio Competition Work
Kuala Lumpur International Financial District Tower

Signature Tower for Kuala Lumpur

Bates Smart's Sydney studio was invited to participate in an international design competition for a signature tower in the new Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) since renamed Tan Rusuk Exchange.

Two kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the development has the potential to transform Kuala Lumpur's identity as a global financial centre, with the tower acting as a beacon for the entire development.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian talks about the Sydney studio's design proposal:

"Our design integrates current workplace thinking, creating three large highly interconnected work spaces, with hubs at the natural intersection of circulation and form. The resulting floorplate is flexible, efficient, and designed for financial services firms in today’s knowledge economy.

'The 380m tall triangular geometry responds to the masterplan axis, sits comfortably within the KLIFD parkland while maximising views of Kuala Lumpur and hills beyond.'

'Inspired by the growth patterns of bamboo, the organic triangular form is highly efficient in terms of wind shear, creating a cost effective structure. The environmental approach is integral to the architecture, with a layered facade reducing heat load and glare, while recalling traditional architecture.'

The building elegantly tapers to create an omni directional iconic profile on the skyline, its warm soft glassy image theatrically playing with the Petronas Towers to create a uniquely Malaysian skyline.

This building’s timeless design will be attractive and adaptable to the needs of tenants through the next century.

The design is now short-listed with designs from SOM and Foster + Partners from an original field of twelve.

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Iglu Chatswood
Creative Collaboration Reaps Rewards

 “Bates Smart's craftmanship & attention to detail has given us unexpected joys and experiences...”

Jonathan Gliksten, Director

Iglu Student Accommodation

Iglu Chatswood, a 396-bed student accommodation project opened in February, for the new academic year. Designed by Bates Smart, this is our second project for the Iglu team.

Director Guy Lake reflects on the collaboration between Iglu and Bates Smart:

'Working with Iglu is consistently rewarding. Creative collaboration is essential to find the optimum solution, particularly when you are trying to create a product with a real point of difference such as the Iglu model. There is a high level of trust and Iglu as a client are integral to the design team.’

The 12 storey building is read as a series of stacked volumes that sit on a two storey terracotta base that provides warmth and a human scale to the street. The two lower levels of the building accommodate a range of indoor communal spaces that open onto a large landscaped courtyard for residents to meet and socialize.

Internally off-form concrete, timber and terracotta provide a backdrop of raw natural materials. Colour and texture is introduced through fabric, rugs and furniture to create a relaxed atmosphere. 

Visit Bates Smart to learn more about Iglu Chatswood.

Iglu Chatswood

Images by Brett Boardman

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464 Collins Street, Melbourne
Slimline Tower on the Horizon

    464 Collins Street, Big on Personality, Slim on Appearance

    The 464 tower is primarily a residential development offering expansive views across Melbourne’s eastern CBD and Yarra River corridor.

    The slim line tower supports several levels of boutique office accommodation at the lowest levels built behind the refurbished historic Makers Mark building.

    The identity of tower is defined by its radically slender proportions to be built from state-of-the-art insitu cast concrete construction techniques. The form boasts 55 levels within its narrow 11.5m site width bolstered at a higher level by a dynamic 4m cantilever which emerges over the adjoining historic NAB building. At the rear an interactive art façade system encloses a 12 level car stacker which will be the largest of its kind in Australia.

    Bates Smart are proud to be working together with owner developer Equiset Grollo Group who plan to release the project for sale in the first quarter of 2015.


    Designing for
    The Fat Duck, Melbourne

    Fat Duck's Migrating

    Bates Smart's Melbourne studio is delighted to have been chosen to work with Crown and Heston Blumenthal on The Fat Duck. The 3 Michelin Star restaurant is decamping for a six month term in 2015. 

    Blumenthal is renowned for giving diners a multi sensory experience through food and engages in ongoing research and development into the psychology of dining.

    The Melbourne restaurant will seat 45 people and accommodate 70 staff and will continue as Dinner by Heston Blumenthal after the Fat Duck residency closes.

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    Amadeus + Us

    Amadeus Takes Off

    Bates Smart's Sydney Studio is embarking on an exciting activity based workplace (ABW) fitout for the Amadeus Airline and Rail IT Group.

    The Spanish based company is moving into 4,000sqm at Bates Smart's newly completed 180 Thomas Street, Sydney (pictured).

    Workplace Strategist Kellie Payne comments:

    'We undertook an extensive briefing process with Amadeus which early on showed strong evidence that there was a large appetite for workplace change and that an ABW workplace would suit their teams. The Amadeus workforce is increasingly nomadic both locally and globally, resulting in under-utilisation of space and emerging silos between teams.

    A new ‘free range’ workplace will enable team members to embed themselves with their colleagues as required, respond rapidly to any issues or incidents, and share their knowledge to achieve the company’s vision to “shape the future of travel”.

    We are excited to have the opportunity to take this project to the next stage with Amadeus and to see the design concepts developed through the briefing stage come to fruition. Our job was made considerably easier as the client was really impressed with the quality of our base building.'

    The team are now in design development with the project due for completion in 2015.

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    AIA Bates Smart

    Graduate Prize 2014

    University of Melbourne student Mikhail Rodrick has been awarded the 2014 AIA Bates Smart Graduate Prize for his competent and ambitious project.


    Bates Smart architect and jury member Karen Wong commented on the jury's decision:

    'Mikhail's project was rigorously researched and beautifully presented. It conveyed the deep level of thought and process he had gone through and the outcome showed his diverse skills and architectural ambition.'

    View Mikhails work in the gallery below and visit his website

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    The Bay Terraces, Sydney

    Little Bay Terraces

    A rolling landscape of bushland, sandstone and coastal views provides the setting for the newly completed Bay Terraces at Little Bay in Sydney.

    Detailed articulation and individual expression in each dwelling references the elegant tradition of Sydney townhouses developed in the last century.

    The houses are grouped as a series of 7 clusters with an internal ring road to maximise solar access, sea breezes and minimise through site traffic.

    This is the second of 4 stages that form the redevelopment of the former Prince Henry Hospital Site undertaken by Brookfield Residential Properties.

    When realized the project will provide approximately 270 apartments across a mixture of new and repurposed heritage hospital buildings dating back to the 1920-30's.

    Prince Henry at Little Bay

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    Business Matters
    Two Key Appointments

    Vision for the Future

    The creation of two new business development roles in Sydney and Melbourne emphasises the importance Bates Smart places on both nurturing our current clients as well as our desire to create high quality contributions to the built environment.

    Our two new Business Development Managers, Amanda Rogers (Melbourne) and Cate Cowlishaw (Sydney), have both had over ten years experience in the design and property community, and understand the importance of maintaining good relationships across all facets of the industry.

    Cate and Amanda’s focus will be ensuring our existing and valued clients continue to receive a high level of service and great design outcomes, working closely with the Directors and senior staff across both offices.

    They will also work to identify exciting future clients who will provide the opportunity to deliver the high quality design outcomes that Bates Smart is renowned for.

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    Kellie Payne
    Breaking Down the Silos of Knowledge

    “The New Legal Workplace is like a Tailored Suit”

    Kellie Payne, Associate Director

    Bates Smart

    Bates Smart Workplace Strategist, Kellie Payne talks to Brisbane Legal magazine.

    Download the Bates Smart white paper The New Legal Workplace.

    AIDA Awards Shortlisting

    Four out of Four

    All four projects entered by Bates Smart into the Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA) have been shortlisted:

    Public Design - 171 Collins Street

    Workplace Design - Evans and Partners

    Residential Design - 35 Spring Street Display Suite

    Residential Decoration - 35 Spring Street Display Suite

    The awards will be announced in Sydney on May 16.

    Read more ...

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