JOURNAL/ August-October/2016


Tall Buildings/
A new publication to showcase our tall building projects through built and unbuilt work

Exploring the tall building typology

Our cities have long been the drivers of innovation, culture and economic prosperity in society. The ability to build dense environments that foster these benefits has been a fundamental achievement allowing our urban communities to thrive.

Bates Smart's Tall Buildings/ publication explores how we see the tall building typology evolving to meet the needs of the contemporary city.

Read our Tall Buildings/ publication here or contact our Business Development Manager Cate Cowlishaw if you would like to receive a hard copy.

The Temperance and General Life Assurance Building
Prestigious building to be given premium upgrade

 “As well as providing state of the art facilities, the building will re-engage with its surrounds”

Tim Leslie

Studio Director, Bates Smart

Pembroke Real Estate engaged Bates Smart to radically upgrade the historic c1920s T&G Building which occupies a prime corner location at 161 Collins Street, Melbourne. Historically regarded as ‘the most beautiful building in Melbourne’, the team are focused on creating a holistic experience around the premium retail and work spaces contained within the existing built fabric.

Project leader Tim Leslie comments on the design intent:

"We have provided a mix of different experiences to create a workplace and an urban setting. Reconnecting the building with its urban context is essential to draw in the broader community. Ramsden Place has been re-established as a pedestrian laneway, with the adjacent heritage building providing retail/street activation independent of the office building operating hours."

State-of-the-art tenant facilities, club style concierge services and significantly large 4000 sqm campus-style floor plates designed around the atrium.

The heritage façade to this signature corner site will be celebrated with feature lighting providing a clear 'beacon' of the sites revitalisation.

Construction starts in January 2017.

ACT Government Building
New buildings and public spaces to revitalise Canberra's city centre

 “Our aim is to create a network of public spaces that embed this site in the fabric of the city ”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Bates Smart with developer Capital Property Group have won the design tender for the ACT Government Offices as part of a $300 million mixed-use development which is set to revitalise Canberra's city centre. The development will create new public plazas, streets and laneways to contribute to the public life of Canberra.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian explains the design concept:

"We are interested in the potential of these buildings to contribute to the public life of Canberra. We have crafted a network of fine grain public spaces that vary in scale from civic to intimate that combine to create an authentic new place for people to enjoy."

The building forms have been sculpted to create a dynamic backdrop to the new public spaces and enable them to engage with their context. The ACT Government Offices are expressed as three volumes with facade expressions that respond to their respective solar orientation and context. The commercial building is articulated as two stacked volumes reducing its scale while expressing its functions.

The ACT Government Offices has a dynamic presence on the corner of London Circuit and the Legislative Plaza; with coloured meeting pods expressing the transparency of Government. Workplace floors naturally create three neighbourhoods around a central atrium. The atrium’s curved geometry dynamically connects the neighbourhoods. Hubs are located centrally to each neighbourhood and on natural paths of travel.

The project is commencing schematic design.

Emmy Monash Gandel House, Aged Care Facility
Designed for the wellbeing of residents, staff and visitors

 “Community was the key driver here, to draw in friends, family and local groups to create a vibrant sense of place”

Jeff Copolov

Interior Design Director, Bates Smart

Wellness is becoming one of the most significant drivers in the design of new environments. Bates Smart are leading the charge with our latest aged care facility, Gandel House at Emmy Monash in Caulfield Victoria.

Providing high quality, superior residential care to the Jewish community of Melbourne, the $50-million-dollar development sets a new benchmark for aged care design.

“Our aim, and that of our client from the outset was to set a new benchmark in such facilities and raise the bar on the standards generally provided. We were challenged to question each pre-conceived design aspect and interrogate every aspect of the brief.” Jeffery Copolov, Director of Interior Design, Bates Smart.

The 97 room development features numerous communal spaces, activity areas, and lounges with views to the central courtyards. Each level has its own dining room, some with a bookable private dining space for families to enjoy on special occasions. There is also a number of shared spaces throughout the building open to all residents, including a beauty salon, physio, and the café. The facility includes an integrated Synagogue at ground level that directly connects to its own private courtyard.

“These new facilities will expand the community spaces for our residents, staff and volunteers. We offer bright new purpose designed rooms for lifestyle activities, pain management, additional courtyards and residential rooms. Personalised dining and lounge rooms, garden terraces and beautiful internal courtyards are a feature of the design.” Tanya Abramzon, Chief Executive Officer, Emmy Monash Aged Care

The interior planning of Emmy Monash is designed as an assembly of individual living spaces grouped around two inviting courtyards. The courtyards allow natural light to penetrate deep into the plan providing a sense of serenity and nurturing, further enhancing wellbeing for residents.


Next generation retail
A sensory experience

“This revitalisation is part of a key growth strategy for Bang & Olufsen”

James Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer

Emerald Group Investments

Luxury retailer Emerald Group Investments has opened one of the largest Bang & Olufsen sensory flagship stores in the world at the Paris-end of Melbourne’s CBD.

The Bates Smart designed 381-square-metre store is situated on the ground floor at 33 Russell Street, on the corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane and makes the next-generation retail store the fourth largest of its kind globally.

“Designed in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen designer, Lene Stenz-Schlünssen in Denmark, the Russell street flagship store has been conceptualised in the heritage-listed Cavendish House, and this retail revitalisation is a key growth strategy for Bang & Olufsen,” James Kennedy said.

The Design Concept focused on expressing the beautiful heritage qualities of the interior shell of Cavendish House providing a luxurious backdrop for Bang & Olufsen.

“We wanted the B&O product to read as a contemporary insertion within a luxurious heritage environment”. Grant Filipoff, Associate Director, Bates Smart.

Bates Smart selected finishes and furniture to compliment Bang & Olufsen's classic Danish design and the new interior of the Flagship store. A sensitive reworking of the building's classic interior has heightened the qualities of the original space, quietly contrasting with Bang & Olufsen's renowned contemporary styling.

“The sensory flagship store isn’t just a retail space, it’s a way to experience and share the Bang & Olufsen story with our customers. The unique store-design and interactive spaces allow our customers to immerse themselves in the very distinct world of Bang & Olufsen sound and design,” said Julian Kipping, General Manager, Bang & Olufsen Australia and New Zealand.

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New legal workspace
breaking the mould

Dibbs Barker

A new workspace for legal firm Dibbs Barker has a friendly informality within its high performance workspace.

Dibbs Barker is a ‘challenger’ to the big firms in the legal market, achieving success through the strength of its relationships with its clients and staff.

Aligning with this strategy, the new workspace is both warm and welcoming, with an innovative but timeless design.

Warmth and texture is achieved through the use of natural materials balanced with fine detailing. View images by Mark Roper in the gallery.

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35 Spring Street, Melbourne
Major Milestone achieved

The 45 storey residential tower, 35 Spring Street, reached a major construction milestone this month.

The Bates Smart team were present for the topping out ceremony which was presided over by Adiran Pozzo, CEO, Cbus Property, Steve Bracks, Chairman, Cbus Super and the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

The building, due for completion in early 2017, is destined to become a major new landmark for Melbourne.

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Future Focus Group
Q+A with Tim Leslie

“We can create density without losing quality green space”

Tim Leslie

Studio Director, Bates Smart

As a diverse collective of young leaders, the Melbourne based Future Focus Group (FFG) conspire to create projects that make a tangible contribution towards Melbourne's future economy, infrastructure development, urban optimisation and liveability.

Studio Director, Tim Leslie, is one of several Bates Smart FFG alumni. Fresh from the success of this year's Open House Melbourne (OHM) he talks to the FFG about his reasons for co- founding OHM and shares his observations on how density in Melbourne should be embraced.

FFG: Tell us about your project, Open House Melbourne (OHM) did you come up with the idea?

TL: Open House was an idea that was spawned when I was working in London and took part in the Open House London event as a volunteer. It was such an incredibly powerful way to engage with the public and to explain why design matters. It provided context to the city and how the built fabric reflects the culture of place, and their history. It wasn’t until I was accepted to be part of the Future Focus Group two years later that this idea came back into focus.

We had to come up with an idea which could be delivered within two years that would improve Melbourne - Open House seemed to be a perfect fit. A key aspect for the event was that it must be 'free' - if we wanted to have a dialogue with the people of Melbourne it should be an invitation to all. It was our belief that a paid event generally engages with those already invested and therefore is not an agent for change. We wanted to have people from all walks of life to be greeted by a diverse cross section of buildings of significance

FFG: How do you see OHM developing in the future?

TL: The role Open House plays in providing the general public an insight into the role good design plays in creating a better built environment is fundamental to a better city - it can assist in framing arguments about why we need higher density housing, or dock and transport hubs, why certain buildings should be retained and others let go. Melbourne prides itself on being one the world's most liveable cities and good design is a key plan in achieving this.

Good design can provide better health outcomes, improved work efficiencies, streamlined infrastructure solutions, safer and more engaging urban environments and importantly, imbedded sustainable solutions.

However, we need to understand the need for change, that cities are always in flux, and we need to allow for new buildings to emerge to allow for good design to continue to prosper. Hence we believe that Open House is a perfect avenue to start this dialogue.

FFG: Are there any observations you would like to share, in your capacity as an Architect, on how Melbourne is continuing to take shape with a heavier density element?

TL: It is simply inevitable that Melbourne will continue to density and fundamental to the success of this growth is planning.

There are a number of key elements which I believe should make us feel more favourably about density. The State Government has made a number of decisions, which I personally believe are positive, to improve apartment standards and to place new controls over the central city. The City of Melbourne continues to forge ahead with innovative planning approaches, such as the urban forest project or pedestrianisation of Elizabeth Street.

However, from a design perspective, a crucial aspect of increased density is ensuring we protect and continue to grow quality green spaces and generate a walking based community around our homes. Increased density provides critical mass to support key local based industries, which in turn can assist in forming strong communities. Walking and access to green space has been shown to greatly reduce illness and with health care becoming a significant concern in our aging population this has a significant benefit to our economy. Whilst green spaces are the easiest places to build upon, we should be looking for innovative alternatives to create the density we require and rewarding solutions which achieve this.

It is crucial that we commit to the implementation of infrastructure to support the growing transfer of goods and people. There are also opportunities to look at more flexible zoning approaches, to allow for a diverse range of activities to co-exist to serve rapidly changing areas and we should be supportive of new and innovative housing models.

Finally, having worked on Open House for over nine years now, one of the things that strikes me the most is how much cities change and evolve over time - Melbourne in the 1950's was a completely different city to the one we live in today. Change is not bad, change needs to be embraced and planned for in a positive and strategic fashion - importantly this needs bipartisan support as it is beyond a parliamentary term - true change simply takes sustained time and belief, it takes leadership.

Read the full interview here

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Brenton Smith
Design Thought Leader

Thought Leader

Sydney Studio Director, Brenton Smith is taking part in the Design Thought Leader series at Herman Miller's global REACH Design Festival. Brenton will talk about the five key qualities that every client wants for their workspace and the nuances that make a difference.

The event is an open platform for thought leaders in workspace strategies and design taking place on 15 September in Melbourne, deails can be found here.


171 Collins Street
Major milestone achieved

Beauty without compromise

171 Collins Street, Melbourne has become the first building in Victoria to achieve a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating. The AIA award-winning building demonstrates that clever design can produce a solution which achieves exceptional environmental credentials and be delivered at a competitive cost.

A variety of sustainability measures have been integrated, including a radiant cooling and heating system and an under-floor air distribution network for energy efficient thermal comfort. The team undertook extensive research and prototyping on the glass facade and atrium to draw natural light into the building which also contributed significantly towards energy targets.

Designer of The Year
IDEA 2016 nomination

Bates Smart is shortlisted for the ‘Designer of the Year’ award in the 2016 Interior Design Excellence Awards to be announced in September.

A prolific period for both studios has resulted in a significant presence in the awards with the following projects shortlisted in addition to the practice award:

/ Canberra Airport Hotel
/ Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
/ Concavo
/ Cushman + Wakefield
/ Corrs Chambers Westgarth
/ Sparke Helmore
/ 106 Flinders Street

Q&A with Jane Jose
Architecture in the Media Award Winner

“ Our Cities would become kinder places if women played a greater role in city design”

Jane Jose


As an urbanist Jane Jose has written, shaped and informed policy to make great public places for people to enjoy in cities across Australia.

Her book 'Places Women Make' (Wakefield Press, 2016) about women’s contribution to the making of our cities won the National Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media.

We commissioned the journalist Clare Kennedy to talk to Jane about the book.

Why did you write the book?

I was a young journalist in 1989 when I entered the world of place making in cities as a heritage activist. Elected to the Adelaide City Council and soon becoming Deputy Lord Mayor I was made to feeI I had trespassed into men’s business. Later Wakefield Press encouraged me to write my story about the battles to conserve the colonial heritage of inner city Adelaide.

Looking back over two decades working as a policy maker and place maker, I was aware that the stories of women’s contribution to making great places in our cities were interesting and had not been told. I had the idea that by telling women’s stories of place making in Australian cities, I could show the influence and impact women can have in the future in a more equal sharing of the design of places in our cities.Why do you think it is important women have equal influence as shapers of our cities?
Urbanists speak of female-friendly cities, recognizing that if cities work for women they work for everybody. Women as nurturers will innately design places that are not hostile to women and children. Women are good listeners and to meet a community brief is to hear what the community is truly asking for. Women are good mediators in contested environments — they start with sorting family issues and bring this skill to other contested arenas.

How do you think urban life would be different if women played a greater role in city design?
Our cities would become kinder places. The idea behind this statement is to create, through sensitive design, the comfort and shelter of home in the public places of our cities — places that offer balance between the made and the natural world. As decision-makers, so many women have been behind the making or renewal of wonderful public places and not afraid to question design that seems insensitive to community life. Women as nurturers take a long view, acting as intergenerational custodians for their children, tomorrow’s children, and they care what happens to strangers. The glass ceiling on architecture traditionally led to more women designers choosing landscape architecture and urban design as a profession. Through this women bring a holistic focus, designing public space to create a sense of ‘House and Garden’ to make comfortable, delightful gathering places in the city.

What more can be done by industry and government to help women achieve an equal voice in the making of our cities?
There needs to be affirmative action. As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said of why he appointed a 50 / 50 gender balanced cabinet - it’s 2016 and women need to be equal in every sphere of life. Work structures remain geared towards men being at work and women being a primary carer. That’s still seen as normal though it’s changing.

Systems need to shift so that in the intensive early child-rearing years women and men can shift gear for a period, but come back to leadership roles. The rhythm of women’s careers should be recognized and accommodated through designing ways to work. Men stepping up and changing that pattern and sharing more equally with architect wives is one practical solution, given that many architects partner with architects. Equal recognition for women for their contribution is another. Women architects need to remember what the late Zaha Hadid said: “I am sure that as a woman I can do a very good skyscraper.”

What interesting things happened along the way?
As I shared what I was doing there was quite a bit of push back from male architect friends who couldn’t see that women had been left out, and who also questioned what difference it would make. However I always found when I talked with women architects there was huge enthusiasm, and they would tell me another story about a woman who had done something significant that was not well known.

I discovered most people are interested in how cities take shape, and that people outside the design profession found the idea that we occupy cities designed largely by men a fascinating observation and interesting to consider how a gender shift in that would change things.

More information on Places Women Make by Jane Jose

Clare Kennedy writes features on architecture, books and design for various newspapers and magazines. She has a special interest in the impact of design on human behaviour.

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World Architecture Festival
Two Buildings shortlisted

Twice as good!

Two Bates Smart buildings are shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival Awards.

Director Philip Vivian will present the Canberra Airport Hotel and the TransGrid Headquarters to the festival jury in Berlin in November.

The two buildings are shortlisted against the best in world architecture.

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