JOURNAL/ November/2014


Paul Roberts
Thoroughbred Racetrack Historian

Fantastic Flemington

Renowned racecourse architecture specialist Paul Roberts has published two articles looking at the rich history of Flemington Racecourse and what the future holds for the home of the Melbourne Cup.

Racecourse architecture: Flemington past and present

Racecourse architecture: Fantastic Flemington

130 Elizabeth Street
A City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition Win

 “Our Aim is to contribute to the historic significance and civic nature of Hyde Park's urban room”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Bates Smart has won a City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition for a new residential tower at 130 Elizabeth Street, Sydney for clients Cbus Property. 

Bates Smart’s design is intended to complete the group of towers that define the southern edge of Hyde Park while sitting comfortably alongside the scale and character of the surrounding notable buildings such as the adjacent Mark Foy’s building.

Director Philip Vivian explains the design proposal:

“Our concept appears as a ‘stack’ of humanely scaled buildings that recall the historic context of Hyde Park while resolving the stepped and angled complexity of the approved envelope.

The palette of natural materials proposed sits comfortably within the series of nearby buildings such as St James station and the Australian museum.”

The building will comprise 38 levels and 148 apartments and is currently being submitted for a Stage 2 Development Application in the Sydney studio. 


Read more ...

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay
Glamorous Luxury Makeover

 “The rooftop pool and lounge presented a fantastic opportunity to frame the bay views in an intimate setting”



The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay has re-opened its doors to the public amid great interest. Bates Smart's interiors are the result of a significant refurbishment of the once-celebrated Ritz Carlton into the most luxurious hotel outside of the CBD.

The design accentuates the best of the original building while adding sophisticated modern touches.

Bates Smart Studio Director Brenton Smith says the design combines classic resort style with a contemporary Sydney twist.

“The approach we took was about contextualising the hotel and reinstating the glamour back into Double Bay,” he says.

“The new InterContinental Sydney Double Bay lies in a remarkable part of Sydney, where a stunning bayside lifestyle combines with high fashion and big business.”

“We’ve extended this feel and built a place to be seen, in a hotel that typifies understated luxury.”

The theme of ‘understated luxury’ is evident throughout the entire refurbishment, which included an overhaul of the rooftop area - creating a sophisticated pool and bar setting for hotel guests, with panoramic views of the harbour.

“For us, the jewel in the crown is the Rooftop Pool and Lounge. The space presented a fantastic opportunity where we were able to frame the bay views in an intimate setting,” explains Smith.“

We wanted to create a relaxed texture and rawness to the space, referencing traditional Mediterranean resorts such as the Amalfi coast or Mykonos, so the materials are light and cool, the limestone split rock wall is quite warm, and the cabanas feature navy blue and white stripes that recall classical beach-side umbrellas.”

Other features include a Grand Ballroom that can facilitate up to 495 guests, a revitalisation of the original marble reception and an intimitate destination restaurant, Stockroom. InterContinental Sydney Double Bay also has 14 Executive Suites and 1 Royal Suite, with private balconies.

A classic marble and leather-clad Stillery gin bar encourages guests to mix with locals within a relaxed setting with a subtle nautical theme, paying tribute to the nearby bay. “It’s the super yacht of bars,” adds Smith.

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2014 Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards
Hat-Trick for Bates Smart

The Bates Smart team celebrated three wins at the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) National Architecture Awards ceremony in Darwin. Characterised by outstanding work and immense competition, the AIA Awards are a great honour.

To gain three accolades in two categories is a considerable achievement.

Dandenong Mental Health Facility - National Award for Public Architecture. Bates Smart Irwin Alsop Joint Venture
"An outstanding collaboration between an enlightened client and an architectural team dedicated to setting a new benchmark in design"

UNSW Kensington Colleges - National Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing
"An exemplar student housing project ... demonstrates how a strong, singular design idea and restrained material palette can lead to a rich architectural outcome."

Gantry, Camperdown - National Commendation for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing
"An intelligent example of how adaptive reuse can be explored."

Read more ...

Studio Announcements
New Studio Directors

Bates Smart's next generation

Bates Smart has made some significant senior staff appointments, positioning itself for its next generation of growth. 

Three new Studio Directors will each contribute particular areas of expertise across the firm  

Matthew Allen is a noted contributor to design competition and award winning projects in the Sydney Studio.

Julian Anderson will relocate from Sydney to Melbourne, bringing large project delivery capacity to the Melbourne Studio.

Edwina McDermott, in the Melbourne studio, will take on a key practice management and operations role.

These Studio Director appointments follow three similar appointments made for the first time in 2013. This newly created position recognises the contributions made by senior staff members and the critical role this depth of leadership and experience plays in the on-going success of the firm.  

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ACT Law Courts Project

Courting Success

The Capital Courts consortium, which includes Bates Smart, are in the final two consortia short-listed for the ACT Law Courts project.

The Bates Smart team, headed by Director Simon Swaney are developing the RFP stage of this Public Private Partnership (PPP) procurement process. Selection of the successful bidder will occur during 2015.

The Capital Courts consortium includes: Richard Crookes Constructions; Brookfield Johnson Controls, Amber Infrastructure and Katsieris Origami Architecture.

New Bendigo Hospital
A Natural Landscape

Nature at Work

The interior of the new Bendigo Hospital references the classical, civic streetscape of the Bendigo area.

The design incorporates local material sourced from the region’s timber trade and seeks to blend seamlessly into the surrounding natural landscape by bringing the tree-lined streets inside the building.

The wayfinding is, by necessity, intuitive and clear. On arrival, lifts, stairs, major department entries and information hubs are obvious and immediate with a variety of waiting spaces that allow for both high visibility and quiet reflection. The floor surface is a two-tone honed concrete paver with stone aggregate, cast in a contemporary tessellated pattern that references Victorian threshold tiling.

An intricate ‘woven’ timber ceiling canopy links the main entry of Mercy St to a tranquil garden to the north. The ‘weave’ in the ceiling opens up in the higher recess, creating apertures that allow a combination of natural light to pass through from skylights above, (artificial light where there is building form above), producing a dappled and ever changing quality of light throughout the day.

Construction of the new hospital commenced in 2013 and is due to be finished before Christmas.

Read the press here.

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In Focus
The Future of Hotel Design

Finding the “Wow” Factor

With over twenty-five active hospitality projects in five states, these are exciting times for the Bates Smart design studios.

Bates Smart Business Development Manager Cate Cowlishaw talks to Interior Design Studio Director Brenton Smith about the future of world-class hotel design.

Read the discussion here.

In the Press
Philip Vivian Interview

In this interview, journalist Greg Brown talks to Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian, about how the shift to a knowledge economy has changed the design of office buildings over the past decade. Read the article here.

First published in The Australian.


2014 Master Builders Award for Transgrid

The TransGrid Fitout in 180 Thomas Street, Sydney has won the Excellence in Resource Efficiency Award at the 2014 Master Builders Association of NSW Excellence in Construction Awards. Bates Smart designed the base building as well as the TransGrid Fitout.

The project is one of a handful to have achieved a 6 Star Green Star “As Built” rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, this represents 'World Leadership' in environmentally sustainable construction.

Congratulations to our colleagues at Built.

Design Inn Sypmposium 2014
Brenton Smith

The annual Design Inn symposium attracts a range of international and local guest speakers to discuss hotel design trends, the secret to boutique hotel success and more.

In this year’s program Bates Smart’s Studio Director, Brenton Smith, joined in a discussion on the challenges of hotel branding.

Watch Brenton Smith in conversation

RCH In The Press
Buildings that give more

Do Buildings have a Soul?

In this thought-provoking article, Ray Edgar from The Age newspaper asks local architects which Victorian buildings best reflect our culture and which ones have real soul?

The answers, including the Royal Children's Hospital, are varied and suprising and not, as the writer says, “contingent upon style or expression.”

Read more in The Age

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