JOURNAL/ January-February/2015


Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Brisbane
New workplace unveiled

 “Our People are benefitting from greater connectivity and our clients love it too”

John W.H. Denton AO

Corrs partner and CEO

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has stayed close to their vision to create open, flexible and collaborative working environments to foster knowledge sharing and mentoring, client connectivity, mobility and use of leading technology.

Corrs staff have settled into their new workplace in Brisbane, the newly completed project is part of a national roll-out of premises across all of Corrs’ offices - Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

As a leading national legal practice with a strong global network plus links to Asia, an integral part of the firm’s strategy is to transform each of its offices into inspirational and innovative workspaces.

Bates Smart Studio Director Brenton Smith comments:  “By taking away the traditional corner offices that the profession expects, the design team had to provide something equally valuable. Critical to the success of the open solution is the high ratio of immediately accessible focus rooms. Highly tailored and technology enabled work desks and meeting rooms, ensure ease of transition between work points, and enable staff to select the environment to best suit their task.”

The client facing areas and cafe combine the best of luxury hospitality design with seamless corporate efficiency, both staff and clients enjoy taking advantage of this space to interact and connect.

The Corrs Brisbane project has captured the personality of the local team and provided a sense of regional identity for the world-class Australian headquartered firm.

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The Fat Duck is Open

It's game on for The Fat Duck

In March 2014, Heston Blumenthal announced that his famed restaurant The Fat Duck would be migrating to Crown Melbourne for six months while his restaurant in Bray closed for refurbishment.

Crown commissioned Bates Smart to design The Fat Duck, located on level 3 of the Crown complex overlooking the Yarra river and Melbourne CBD.

Bates Smart Interior Design Director, Jeff Copolov comments: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work directly with Heston and his talented team, to bring to Melbourne one of the world’s great culinary experiences, I have enjoyed the challenge of creating an interior that supports his vision.”

The interior is elegant and restrained, with a hushed ambience, allowing the food to take centre-stage. The concept for the restaurant is designed around the idea of chiaroscuro, the use of strong contrasts between light and dark to create drama.

The use of deep, sumptuous upholsteries, dark lacquered panelling and rich carpets provide a backdrop to the spot lit white clothed tables adding to the theatre.

To suspend reality and transition guests to the experience that awaits, the dining journey commences by entering the restaurant via a ramp; which through the use of false perspective ‘squeezes’ space till one arrives at a miniature door. The effect vaporizes as a concealed sliding panel opens to reveal the Maître de and the dining room beyond.

Whilst in Melbourne, the restaurant will offer the same unique dining experience to what guests receive in Bray. The Fat Duck menu is an intentional mix of balance and contrasts – old and new, modern and historic. The degustation menu takes guests on a food journey - a truly multi-sensory experience.

The restaurant launched in February 2015 and will remain open until late July when it will close and the space will be re-designed by Bates Smart to host Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

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Canberra Airport Hotel
A new gateway hotel for Canberra Airport

 “Our aim is to create a uniquely ‘Canberran' hotel, responding to Griffin's original vision and acting as a gateway to the airport terminal ”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

This competition-winning design is located at the gateway to the new Canberra International Airport. Inspired by the geometry of Walter Burley Griffin’s plan for Canberra, Bates Smart’s concept combines circular and axial geometries into a unique form.

The circular geometries allow the building to be read in the round, responding to the sites multiple approach and vantage points. The larger end contains a dramatic full height circular atrium. A restaurant, bar, and lounges at the base of the atrium create the social focus of the hotel.

The circular theme is echoed throughout the building in the façade and interior detailing. A glazed curtain wall screen with circular aluminium hoops wraps the form and ties it together as a singular object. The hoops act as a privacy screen for guests without loss of view. The interior finishes are rich and tailored, inspired by the golden age of air travel of the 1960s and 70s.

The hotel consists of 191 rooms including 12 suites and 9 apartments over six levels as well as hospitality and conference facilities. Operated by TFE Hotels under the Vibe brand, the project is scheduled for completion in October 2015.

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35 Spring Street, Melbourne
Bottoms Out

The only way is up!

Bates Smart's much anticipated premium residential tower at 35 Spring Street for Cbus Property has “bottomed out”, with excavation six levels below-ground creating a remarkable sight for passersby and workers in neighbouring buildings.

The concrete core jump form has been installed, and preparations are nearly complete for the initial basement slab pour.

Due for completion in June 2017, the 45-storey premium residential tower is well on its way to becoming a new major landmark for Melbourne’s CBD.

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Bendigo Substation

Brick Art

The Bates Smart design team for Bendigo Hospital used innovative scripting software to develop the brick laying system and liaised with a local craftsman to develop a warped surface texture which transformed a humble discreet building into a revitalizing and surprising art folie.

A new substation forms the canvas for an intriguing public art installation at Bendigo Hospital. The substation is the third building to be completed as part of the $630 million development, the largest regional hospital in Victoria. The main hospital building is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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Studio Director Tim Leslie
Wins AIA Council Elections

Introducing Councillor Leslie

Congratulations to Studio Director Tim Leslie who has further cemented his commitment to the Melbourne architecture community by joining the Victorian Chapter Council of the Australian Institute of Architects. 

The council is charged with representing Victorian architects in developing and implanting state policies and lobbying both State and Local governments. As part of this role Tim aims to improve the profile of the architectural community and need for good design within the broader public arena.

Due to the large number of applicants the positions were awarded via ballot. Tim was delighted to be elected to council by the Victorian architectural fraternity.

Further to this Tim was also recently re-elected as President of Open House Melbourne for 2015.

View the new Victorian chapter council here

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Natalie Lane-Rose

“we need more examples of women succeeding in major projects in limited hours”

Peter Bailey

Arup Australian CEO

Studio Director Natalie Lane-Rose and Associate, Monica Edwards from Cox Richardson talk to Arup Australian CEO Peter Bailey about his role as a visible advocate for diversity in practice. 

In 2012 Peter was given the National Association for Women in Construction’s Crystal Vision Award (NSW) for advancing the interests of women in the construction industry. Read the interview here.


Innovation at 180 Thomas Street, Sydney

6 Star Solutions

The Transgrid workplace at 180 Thomas Street, Sydney, achieved a Six Star Green Star ‘As Built’ rating; one of only four workspaces within NSW to have achieved this standard.

Studio Director Julian Anderson describes the innovative solutions which contributed to this achievement: 

"TranGrid’s nine level commercial building was constructed with a centrally located void. Occupying three levels of the building, TransGrid connected their tenancy vertically through this void on each floor. For the remaining levels that were untenanted at the commencement of construction, concrete ‘hebel’ panels were placed in the void to create continuous floor space.

"This innovative solution provide's maximum flexibility for tenants and minimum waste resulting in Green Star points for innovation. Rather than imposing a condition of either a) void or b) continuous floor space, instead and with relative ease, the void is realized through the removal of the hebel panels or in the instance where there is a desire to maximize floor space, the hebel panels remain in place and the void is unrealized.

"This approach contributes to a reduction in material waste volumes during future tenancy fitouts and ease of construction and deconstruction. Further, the reduction in lift movements where stairs are located within the void will result in energy savings and the health benefits of encouraging occupants to use the stairs.

"Additional sustainability initiatives included installing products and furniture with publicly available, third party verified environmental product declarations. As a result of all of these measures the project earned four Green Star points for innovation contributing to the Six Star total."     

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Four Points by Sheraton, Sydney
Construction underway

Situated on Sydney’s historic Darling Harbour, The Four Points by Sheraton is undergoing a substantial transformation. The demolition and reconstruction phase has commenced with hoardings signalling that the visions for the site are well underway to becoming a reality.

The first phase of Meeting Rooms and pre function space will open to the public in November 2015.

When unveiled in May 2016, the hotel will be Australia’s largest, boasting 913 keys and 4,810 sqm of convention space. Bates Smart has been commissioned to design the interiors for the public and convention spaces where guests will enjoy unparalleled harbour views.

Associate Director Jan Eastwood commented: “Creating a link between the significant sandstone heritage buildings of the site and the marine harbour activity has been key to the planning and design process.”

Designed as an expansive courtyard terrace, the Bates Smart interiors will be hospitable spaces to arrive, conduct business and relax at this unique location. Sandstone blade walls and architectural voids will create a strong visual connection between the hotel lobby on the ground floor and the convention facility above.

The lobby bar will be intimate in scale and mood and create a soft boundary to the adjacent lobby lounge.

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Elegant Display Suite Launches Monarch Mosman

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Monarch Mosman has been launched by Bates Smart's long-term client Centuria Property Funds. The quality development on The Military Road, Monarch offers a range of options from one bed apartments to townhouses, including four ‘Soho’ apartments with work/live configuration.

The apartment types respond sensitively to a variety of aspects, including market demand, and include a range of outdoor options from private gardens fronting the courtyard, loggias where noise attenuation is required and generous balconies that capitalise on district and harbour views to the south east and north west.

The development has been designed with the wider community in mind to ensure that it has a positive impact on its surrounds. Jason Hulijch, Centuria commented: “We spent a lot of time ensuring community and council concerns were taken into account throughout the process.”

Centuria has just completed a display suite which will be opening soon for viewing. See the display suite images in the gallery below.

The Bates Smart design team: Roger Poole, Guy Lake and Tonie Maclennan discuss the inspiration behind Monarch on video here

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DibbsBarker, Sydney appointment

Legal Eagles

Bates Smart has further consolidated its expertise the legal arena, having recently been appointed to undertake a 3,600sqm fitout for DibbsBarker in Sydney. DibbsBarker is a ‘challenger’ to the big firms in the legal market, looking for new ways to improve its business and service offering, while maintaining a warm and welcoming culture.

In the last 10 years there has been great innovation in the legal workplace driven by a number of issues, including an uncertain economy, unprecedented competition, technology, client hospitality and staff wellbeing.

The success of Bates Smart’s designs rely upon the time spent at the front end concept design, investigating these issues to ascertain each individual firm’s appetite and drivers for change, to ensure the new workplace aligns with its vision for the future. Bates Smart has commenced the briefing process, which will be streamlined through into concept design, in line with the relatively tight deadline of completion by December 2015.

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Facade Focus on Curtain Walls

Curtain Call for residential facade design

A factory assembled curtain wall façade system has benefits for residential buildings just as much as commercial office buildings explains Bates Smart Associate Torsten Fiedler:

“The curtain wall façade is one of the first building elements to be coordinated with head contractors and specialists after the project is awarded to a construction company. This enables the project team to design, detail, engineer, mock-up and test the system before assembly.

“Once delivered to site the façade elements are typically installed without the use of a tower crane, they create an instant weatherproof envelope and increase the speed of construction and reduce on site labour.”

Recent Bates Smart projects that have taken advantage of this façade system are Australia Towers II and 65 Mary Street, Brisbane.

Torsten is Associate at Bates Smart and has been involved in the design development of a 22-storey Brisbane student housing project for developer, Iglu.

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