JOURNAL/ October-November/2015


Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Crown, Melbourne
Extraordinary food and art with unique historic references to Britain and Australia

 “We have created a tableau for Heston’s theatricality and delight in the unexpected ”

Jeff Copolov

Director, Bates Smart

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal has begun its exciting new journey in its second home at Crown Towers Melbourne.

Located on the third floor, the 120 capacity dining room overlooks the city skyline across the Yarra River in the space formally occupied for a six-month sojourn by The Fat Duck. This is Heston’s first permanent restaurant outside of the UK.

Bates Smart Director Jeff Copolov explains the design concept: "Bates Smart's principle objective was to create a tableau to reinforce Heston’s theatricality and delight in the unexpected, but most importantly, the interior is a support act for the dining experience itself."

Entering through a 20m ramp the guests are drawn towards an animated kaleidoscope. The entry has its own signature aroma based on the notes of damp moss, wood smoke and leather. A concealed sliding panel opens to reveal the restaurant and expansive show kitchen. 

The cocktail bar, exclusively for guests of Dinner, takes elevated dress circle position overlooking the dining room and the entire proceedings. The private dining room is entered through a five metre high embossed leather pivoting doors, enjoying perfect views of both the kitchen and city.

The interior features two grand Old Master inspired photographs by Romas Foord, ‘Meat Fruit’ and ‘Snail Porridge’ extracted from the Historic Heston cookbook. The rich colour palette of the photographs inspired the decor, influencing the velvet and leather upholstery and timber choices for the custom designed table tops and waiter station joinery, set against a dark aubergine colour lacquered wall panelling.

Particular attention has been paid to the lighting. Bates Smart worked with lighting designers Electrolight to craft custom designed fittings and set the mood. Sumptuous pools of light have been created, focusing on the areas that guests inhabit, allowing details such as the food presentation, table tops, bar and kitchen, to emerge from the reduced darker background. The textured ceiling pattern is inspired by the Tudor rose, a motif used in the design of the chandeliers in the London restaurant. Ceramic jelly mould wall sconces from the London restaurant are installed above a sommelier station.

A custom designed graphic by English artist Dave McKean, depicting Australiana, surrounds the chef’s table overlooking the activity of the pass and the kitchen. Guests can watch the chefs brigade prepare their roasted pineapples on the custom rotisserie pulley system. The mechanical timepiece mounted adjacent to the show kitchen, designed by Robert Higgs, was inspired by the watchmakers of Greenwich and the royal kitchen of Tudor England.

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300 Albert Street, East Melbourne
Pavilions in the park

 “The design honours the site’s celebrated history and garden interaction”

Kristen Whittle

Director, Bates Smart

The Mirvac development of 300 Albert Street, East Melbourne reads as an assembly of residences — like pavilions in the park — with the Fitzroy Gardens acting as a grand extension.

The Dallas Brooks Hall and Freemasons Grand Masonic Lodge have been located on the site for many years. Retaining its prominence, the Freemasons Masonic Lodge will continue to be situated on four levels on the corner of Victoria Parade and Eades Street. 

Bates Smart Director, Kristen Whittle, explains the architectural vision: "Our strategy is to break down the site into individual components that provide scale and ordered horizontal pattern."

Double-height volumes define the three residential lobbies facing Albert Street, Eades Street and Victoria Parade. Each leads to residences that evoke the experience of an exceptional hotel.

A refreshed palette of materials with a timeless, yet contemporary, highly crafted architectural approach, will complement East Melbourne’s classical heritage precinct.

Low-level residences connect directly with the gardens with filtered views to the sky through the tree canopy. Wider horizontal planes define these residences and provide privacy from the street below.

Elevated penthouses are customised for discerning residents, with an abundance of glass, offering spectacular 360-degree panoramas over the gardens and CBD. 

For more information visit

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Ainsworth Building, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW
A new building unites a school and marks the beginning of a new era

 “The new addition celebrates the legacy of Engineering at UNSW while being firmly of the twenty-first century”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

The completion of the Ainsworth Building marks a new era for the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. The school had occupied adjacent but disconnected 1960s buildings that were a legacy of the campus but separated students and staff. Teaching and research areas lacked functionality.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian explains the design approach: "Our aim was to respect these legacy buildings so we have re-worked the chevron and circular geometries of the original building into a contemporary addition.

"The main building fronting the campus mall is refurbished, with a new façade, and re-planned with academic and postgraduate research students located in research clusters to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing. The new wing connects to the old with a glazed stair providing vertical connectivity between levels. The long span structure of the new wing creates flexible teaching spaces, and has allowed a 350-seat lecture theatre below that opens out onto John Lions Garden. Spaces are provided to students for continuous learning, promoting an engaging campus.

"At ground level the new building activates the laneway and links it to the John Lions Garden. Undergraduate student spaces in the refurbished laboratory building open onto a newly covered outdoor lane creating a student activity space."

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Opera, Melbourne
Display Suite now open

remarkable sales

Opèra is a landmark project designed by Bates Smart for client Golden Age Group.

The opening of the display suite has achieved remarkable results with over 60 per cent of apartments sold for the project. 

Situated in the existing building at 450 St Kilda Road Melbourne, the display includes a theatre, gallery and installation of a partial apartment, achieved through collaboration between Bates Smart and marketing consultants.

Of the three colour schemes offered to purchasers, the boldest of the three, “Opèra”, is convincingly featured in the display suite and the essence of the Opèra project is infused in the retail galleria.

For more information visit

Birdwood Avenue, Lane Cove
Creating a community

New Neighbourhood

Our latest residential project for clients, Dalian Yifang, has been submitted to council for development approval.

Led by Bates Smart Director Guy Lake, the team have designed a distinctive residential precinct in response to the site's unique setting near Lane Cove Village in Sydney.  

Guy Lake explains the design concept:

"We designed a series of buildings of varying height and setback to read as a 'village' with a strong sense of composition and identity."

Both apartments and communal spaces offer excellent amenity and high levels of connectivity to the wider fabric of Lane Cove.

The development integrates 237 apartments in four buildings and with a diverse range of size, including apartments, two storey terraces and penthouses all with abundant natural light, cross ventilation and outstanding treetop views.

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Sydney 2050 / NYC 2015
A sustainable city vision

CTBUH 2015

"If Sydney is to maintain its status as a Global City it must have aspirations beyond a 1970s landmark. Cities are the ultimate expression of humankind's habitat on earth, and height has long been an expression of human aspiration."  Philip Vivian, Sydney 2050 

Director Philip Vivian has taken his vision for Sydney 2050 to New York for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat annual conference. Kristen Whittle joined Philip at the conference. 

Read the full paper here

Creative Collaboration

the art of light

Our long-term collaborators, Electrolight, worked closely with Bates Smart on the design of the lighting in Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. One of the many challenges they faced when designing the lighting scheme was providing depth and highlight to the images drawn from the 'Historic Heston' cookbook, that form a critical focal backdrop to the dining room and cocktail bar.

Electrolight Director Jess Perry explains: "The piece itself is a 5.4m x 2m print set into the wall panelling and complemented with a beautiful bronze mesh screen.

"We workshopped a design solution that involved a miniature linear LED projector with a bi-symmetric beam optic located between the mesh and the print to graze up and down the artwork.

"The main challenge was balancing the quantity of light between the print and the mesh to ensure the correct amount of transparency and depth was achieved. If the mesh received too much light, the print receded into darkness.”

Bates Smart and Electrolight also collaborated on a number of bespoke decorative light fixtures for the restaurant.

Electrolight delivered the lighting for The Fat Duck's temporary home in the same space, referred to by Heston Blumenthal as the best restaurant lighting he had ever seen. 

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Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

A vision for our gardens

Bates Smart has been delighted to work alongside Professor Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens project steering committee to develop a positioning document to determine sites for possible future development at the Gardens.

While initially described as a building master plan, the document actually presents a number of alternate solutions to accommodate the Gardens' future requirements rather than a single proposal.

One of the key findings of the study is a recommendation that any new botanical developments should address the clarity of entry into the Gardens, ideally from both the Observatory site and the Yarra River in order to maintain the pristine landscape design of Guilfoyle and reinforce the underlying fabric of the Gardens.

In addition, a location for a much needed new Herbarium is proposed to house the scientifically significant botany collection started by Baron von Mueller in the nineteenth century and to provide an opportunity to celebrate botany with the public.

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MelBIM, Melbourne
12 November 2015

Trailblazing technology

Associate Director, Joachim Clauss, will present the Opera residential project at the upcoming design technology conference, MelBIM, to demonstrate how new technology influences the design process at Bates Smart.

For more information and tickets:

Bates Smart Legacy
Modernism on film

Melbourne International

'Melbourne International' is a fascinating film spanning the period 1950-1980 made by the very talented independent film maker Jacques Sheard, it describes the development of International Style architecture in Melbourne. 

Former Bates Smart Chairman Roger Poole discusses Bates Smart McCutcheon's prolific contribution to the new genre of curtain-walled office buildings, he is joined by writers and academics including Conrad Hamann and Philip Goad. Watch the video here

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Jeff Copolov Q+A
What makes hotel developments work?

Future Focus on Hospitality

"In its simplest form, luxury is the eradication of problems - it is incredible service, instinctive design responses and pragmatic, genuine good product design." Says Bates Smart Director Jeff Copolov. 

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Space + Skin IV
Facade Study Series

Demand for Transparency

The fourth in our Space and Skin series examines transparency in commercial buildings. Since the concept of the high rise was first possible, architects and engineers have sought to achieve an ever lighter and more open structure.

Today, the level of transparency achieved by the façade of a commercial building is a balancing act – a trade-off between the needs of tenants, environmental considerations and the execution of the architectural form.

The demand for transparency comes in large part from landlords and tenants. Within the corporate world, large expansive views are highly desirable and building owners and developers wish for their buildings to appeal to this market. When spectacular views of Sydney’s Harbour or Melbourne’s skyline are achievable, an uninterrupted view becomes even more important.

Equally, employers are increasingly concerned with the well-being of their staff, and access to natural light and views are important. An outlook that also captures views of the natural world or biophilic elements has an enhanced effect on well-being.

Conversely, a drive to reduce the environmental load, particularly solar heat gain, has the opposite effect on the building envelope. The imperative here is to make openings smaller, use shade elements and tinted glasses to stop the sun’s heat from penetrating the building and putting pressure on the environmental systems. Legislative requirements such as the Building Code of Australia strongly encourage this.

The variety of building form achieved by several of Bates Smart’s recent projects demonstrates how these factors, when combined with the building context, can be executed in a variety of ways.

The four faces of 177 Pacific Highway, Sydney are tailored to their aspects, with shading strategies adapted for each orientation, while maintaining the openness desired of a commercial high-rise. The building also responds to planning conditions restricting overshadowing of public places, its form pushing forwards and backwards as cantilevered volumes in response.

Deco, 155 Clarence Streeet, Sydney utilises sun shading to its new upper levels to create a very open façade, which delivers a crisp contrast to the elegant art deco building below.

Melbourne Dockland’s ATO building also utilises sun shading, but the effect here is of a sleekly defined cube.

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