JOURNAL/ June-July/2015


450 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Progressive landmark to celebrate local history

 “Our design has taken a sculptural form in reference to St. Kilda Road's glamorous past”

Kristen Whittle

Director, Bates Smart

The 450 St Kilda Rd project has entered the next phase as it has received town planning approval from the City of Port Philip. The design of the 33,000 sqm residential development draws on the glamourous historic mansions lining St Kilda Road while adding a contemporary twist. 

One of the key design features is the double curved street facade. As a sculptural landmark it contrasts against the existing rigid building forms that line the street. Modelling this facade was an evolutionary process made seamless with the use of parametric design tools to explore every option for the best design outcome. 

Our team analysed the base surface of the facade to illustrate the degree of variations and double curvature within the panels and shared this with the consultant team and suppliers. 

The geometry was then refined with material constraints and properties factored into the parametric script which was custom built by Bates Smart. The resulting facade design is stretched like fabric over the contemporary form. Openings are expressed as cuts accentuating the sense of movement. 

The development will offer a combination of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The public amenities on the ground and first floor include a restaurant and wine cellar as well as lounge spaces that will be exclusive to residents. The display suite will be launched on the 18th July with overseas sales due to commence early next month.

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Australian Stock Exchange Liquidity Centre, Sydney
The ultimate in high performance Finance IT workplace

 “We are proud of this venue and it has now been recognised as a world-class facility”

Elmer Funke Kupper

ASX CEO and Managing Director

The Australian Stock Exchange Liquidity Centre was officially opened in April by Treasurer, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, generating tremendous interest from the IT Finance industry. 

With almost 70% of activity in the multi-trillion dollar Australian equity and futures markets originating from this building, Bates Smart was required to design the ultimate workspace for high performance Finance IT. In addition, this workplace had to be a highly attractive work environment in order to attract and retain expert digital staff in a non-cbd location. 

The work environment is divided between two contrasting spatial types, one focused on high performance and the other on hospitality.

Within the work floor is the tech space with a data wall which acts as a command centre. Bates Smart Workplace Strategist, Kellie Payne comments: “We placed all data and information at their fingertips, which means staff can work more quickly and effectively than ever before.”

Bates Smart worked with a technology consultant to design the data wall in line with the high productivity working practices of the sector. Facilitating agile workflows was a key objective for the workplace.

In contrast to the tech space, the other part of the office is a verandah-style hospitality and breakout area. The pale timber and white stone materials give a natural and casual ambience. The high quality finishes similar to a five star cafe space ensure staff don’t feel they are missing out on what the city offers in the way of cafe culture. 

“We designed the space to be an antidote to the high-focus atmosphere of the tech area. When you walk into the breakout space there’s a real sense of relaxation. We’ve also made it feel like you’re standing outside", said Brenton Smith, Studio Director, Bates Smart.

Bates Smart worked closely with the ASX to create a workplace environment that reflects a new way of working for staff. “It was really important for us to understand the DNA of our clients — IT people get that there is an edge to them that makes them unique. They know who they are and how they work. Our job is to express and celebrate that in our design of their workplace,’ said Brenton. 

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City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition
Simple, powerful design for Martin Place, Sydney

 “Our vision creates a monumental anchor to complement the historic buildings in the vicinity ”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Bates Smart in association with Thomas Phifer and Partners from New York joined forces recently to participate in a design competition for a new commercial tower on one of the most significant sites at the top of Martin Place in Sydney. The building’s shape has evolved through extensive study to create a simple yet powerful form that respects the surrounding historic buildings. The tower's design demonstrates attention to detail, scale and proportion aligned with many of the successful buildings on Martin Place.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian's commentary on our proposal was as follows: "The façade responds to the history and architectural traditions of the surrounding buildings, such as St. Stephen’s Church and the Sydney Eye Hospital, and establishes the tower’s role as a modern icon at the center of Sydney’s civic core. The combination of its simple form and complex façade will be a unique addition to the Sydney skyline.

"The panes of glass and golden brown frame catch the light, reflecting the streetscape and sky in a myriad of permutations throughout the day. 60 Martin Place’s material façade is contemporary yet harmonious with its historic context."

The form and colour of the proposed building evokes the sandstone headlands around Sydney Basin. At the intersection of Martin Place and Macquarie Street, the new office tower rises as a unique, rectilinear form whose multi-faceted façade reflects the Australian sun.

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Philip Vivian
Panellist at Design Speaks

Work Place / Work Life 2015

The challenges and issues that the future of workplace design brings will be discussed by Director Philip Vivian and an impressive line up of Australasia's most influential practitioners and their clients. Details can be found here

Bates Smart sponsorship
Melbourne University

The 2015 Melbourne University Graduate Prize has been awarded to Kurt Jury.

Tim Leslie, Studio Director, presented the award at the AIA Joint Industry Graduate Prize for Architectural Excellence and Graduate Prize in Sustainable Architecture on 28th March at Monash University.

Mark Bol, Associate Director, assisted with judging the awards. “Kurt delivered a well resolved and provocative project, which overtly expressed a sub-culture to challenge public preconceptions. The project was executed with a great level of detail and spatial poetics”.

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Sparke Helmore
Future focused environment

Igniting the Spark

Bates Smart has worked with national law firm Sparke Helmore over the past year on the strategic briefing and design of its new workspace.  Spanning 5,000sqm in the MLC Tower in Sydney, Bates Smart has recently completed the concept and entered the design development phase.

Aligning with the business vision and project priorities, the new workspace places staff wellbeing and culture at the centre. A specific focus on increasing teamwork and staff engagement will drive a more collaborative, flexible and future focused environment. Staff have access to one large breakout which brings everyone together and also functions as a client hospitality space.

The workspace is a cul-de-sac cluster design with offices radiating from the perimeter, creating neighbourhood teams of 10-12 people and a mix of enclosed and open workspace and equal access to views and natural light. The design introduces a number of interchangeable focus and collaborative spaces to support the varying work styles of practice groups now and into the future.

The design aesthetic encapsulates the personal relationships that Sparke Helmore has with its clients. There is an openness and transparency in the design with glimpses from reception into the staff areas.

Natural materials and earthy tones, combine with organic shapes and softer forms to create an environment that is warm, welcoming and unpretentious.

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Portraits Exhibition
At work in Architecture

A life in the day

Portraits of Practice: At Work in Architecture is a photographic exhibition that brings research to life is opening at The Tin Sheds Gallery in Sydney on July 10. 

A series of photographs taken on a single day in 2012 will be juxtaposed with infographics and quotations from three large architecture practices, including Bates Smart. The exhibition has been initiated by Parlour the online space for sharing research and generating debate on the future of Australian architecture practices.

Portraits of Practice and Parlour are just two outcomes of the Australian Research Council funded project led by Dr Naomi Stead for which Bates Smart is an industry partner.

The exhibition will run from July 10-Sept 11. Find more information here 

Read more in the press

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Kendra Pinkus
2015 Intergrain Awards

Bates Smart Associate Director Kendra Pinkus will be joining an impressive panel of judges for the 2015 Intergrain Timber Vision Award. The awards recognise the inspiring use of timber across six design categories. 

Kendra will join editorial director Cameron Bruhn, architect Richard Kirk and landscape architect Jane Irwin in judging the awards which will be announced in August. 

For more details on the awards can be found here

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Kristen Whittle
Property Council Panel

Hot property

Future planning for Melbourne as one of the world's leading cities was a key driver in a passionate debate at the recent Property Council of Australia lunch sponsored by Bates Smart. 

Bates Smart Director Kristen Whittle was joined by Columnist Bernard Salt, Nathan Blackburne (Cedar Woods) and moderator Sarah Horsefield (Urbis) to debate a range of hot market topics including why Victoria maintains a reputation for being the best state in which to invest in property.

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Jeff Copolov
Hotels World, Sydney


Interior Design Director Jeff Copolov will be chairing a discussion panel on the subject of 'Making Hotel Developments Work' at Hotels World in Sydney at the end of July. Jeff joins an international panel of industry decision makers for the three day event.

Bates Smart are proud to continue their long association with Hotels World, more details can be found here.

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Space + Skin
Facade study series

Surface + Mass

The second chapter in our facade series, Space + Skin, explores the symbiotic relationship between building surface and mass.

The massing of a tall building is often driven by a response to context and the specific planning controls to which it is subject. Creating an iconic addition to the skyline is another common driver. The resultant form may be dramatic or respectful, but the successful integration of mass and surface through the detailed resolution of the facade should result in beautiful and elegant buildings that respond to their location in both a contextual and symbolic manner.

Three recent Bates Smart buildings take on this challenge in three very different ways. Height and vista controls and the respect required for the nearby neo-gothic spires of St Paul’s Cathedral determined a very specific response to mass and facade of 171 Collins St. A fractured form mirrors the geometry of the Cathedral spires, while the detailed design of the facade complements the form with a seamless and crystalline appearance and finely tuned degree of reflectivity creating an “artificial sky” as a subtle background to the spires.

Conversely, a less tightly defined urban fabric drove the desire for a strong corner statement at 555 Collins St. It's sculptural mass combined with the fluidity of the facade treatment clearly defines and articulates its place in the Melbourne city grid.

Taking its cues from a less urban context, the Di Long Tower references the dramatic countryside of Guizhou, and the symbolic power of the Chinese Dragon. Flanked by mountain-like forms, the tower rises dramatically clad in diagonal scales which are fritted to control heat gain and glare, as well as emulating the skin of the dragon.

These projects demonstrate the powerful design responses possible when the contextual response of the mass of a building is successfully intertwined with the detailed facade design and resolution.

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Progressive design processes
Joachim Clauss

Constantly evolving design technology plays a prominent part in the coordination and delivery process of our projects. 

Bates Smart architect Joachim Clauss explains how the design process benefits from this evolution:  "Progressive and innovative design processes are key to how a design is conceived and developed at Bates Smart.

"We complement our in-house BIM skills with parametric design tools to assist in the design process and development of complex form. Geometrical or environmental analysis allows us to explore traditional design factors such as environmental conditions in a much more detailed and informed way.

"Parametric design tools (scripts) can be understood as chain-linked geometric processes. For example when a single element such as a facade surface is altered, all associated elements including the glass panel break-up, degree of facets, panel sizes and curvatures will follow the rules of the script and rebuild themselves accordingly.

"The flexibility of the parametric script enables the team to test a large number of options but also to address any buildability and detail issues early in the process.

"The result of this option testing is an optimised facade break-up which is true to the design concept and offers a large degree of repetition.

"Our ongoing effort to harness the opportunities that arise through ever evolving design technology is motivated by the desire to create relevant progressive architecture and at the same time support our clients and the project delivery process."

Joachim Clauss is a Project Leader at Bates Smart who gained his 15 years experience in the building and architecture industry working in Australia, Germany and South Africa. He is currently working on the 466 Collins House and 450 St Kilda Rd projects. Working across a variety of large-scale projects, including residential, local and international sports and transport projects. Joachim has developed a special interest in the use of parametric design technology.

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Julian Anderson
Joins Melbourne Team

Studio Director Julian Anderson has joined the Melbourne Studio after making a significant contribution to Bates Smart’s Sydney studio over the past eight years. 

Julian brings a depth of experience in leading large and complex architectural and consultant project teams to deliver innovative and elegant architectural solutions.

He led the architectural team on the award winning TransGrid project at 180 Thomas Street, recently awarded the WAN International Sector Commercial Award. He is currently leading the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort development at Barangaroo, a project with over 200 consultants working in eight cities around the world.

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180 Thomas Street, Sydney
Building Envelopes + Facades

Building Over

The 180 Thomas Street project was studied in depth at the Building Envelopes + Facades forum in Sydney on the 29 June.

The environmental initiatives that enabled the project to obtain a Green Building Council of Australia 5 Star Green Star rating were the focus of a case study presented by Built. Learn more Building Envelopes + Facades 2015

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