JOURNAL/ November/2016


Tall Buildings

The tall building typology is evolving to meet the needs of the contemporary city.
Bates Smart presents a series of our latest built and unbuilt tall building projects.


Collins House, Essay by Kristen Whittle
Seamlessly stitched into the historic fabric of Melbourne

“We can unlock the development potential of challenging sites by changing the way we build in our cities”

Kristen Whittle

Director, Bates Smart

Collins House delivers an iconic addition to Melbourne's skyline and a high quality enhancement to its urban fabric.

The success of Collins House was achieved through seeking innovation across all aspects of project design and delivery. The unique circumstances of site size, innovative construction technology, economic viability, marketing strategy and town planning systems have efficiently synchronised to make this the most unique residential construction project being undertaken in Melbourne, if not Australia.

The ultimate success of this project however, has been in resolving all these elements in such a way that the amount of “work” required to achieve the leading-edge outcome is not evident.

Collins House will stand as a polished and sophisticated piece of architecture; a positive addition to the urban landscape of Melbourne. Read Kristen Whittle's essay on Collins House.

177 Pacific Highway, North Sydney
North Sydney's Tallest new building

 “177 demonstrates that with innovative design, tall buildings can enhance the amenity of the city ”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

The recently completed 177 Pacific Highway demonstrates that tall buildings can be built in dense urban environments without sacrificing public amenity and particularly access to sunlight.

At 31 storeys the building reaches to the maximum height limit in North Sydney of 195 metres. Through detailed solar analysis, innovative design thinking and engineering, the project team unlocked the sites’ development potential for a major commercial office building, and created a new type of public space for the city, while maintaining legislated solar access.

Design Director Philip Vivian comments: “Overshadowing prohibitions have effectively prevented new high rises in North Sydney for nearly two decades. Much of the debate about tall buildings has been around their height but the concern should be focused on public amenity rather than height.

"Our aim for 177 was to demonstrate that tall buildings can be built in dense urban environments without impacting on the public amenity of the city. The design of 177 achieves zero overshadowing of nearby public spaces in mid winter, thus maintaining the pleasantness of those spaces.”

To compensate for minor overshadowing at the Equinoxes the base of the building has been raised to create a major public garden plaza that can be used all year round, utilising convection cooling to maintain a temperate climate in summer, while solar heat gain will warm it in winter.

This wintergarden typology is rarely used in Australia. In addition to cafes and a restaurant, the Garden Plaza is planted with Australian native trees with places for people to sit and enjoy the sun.

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177 Pacific Highway

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A vertical campus for Navitas
Densification yields new building typology

 “The vertical campus model enabled us to create a vibrant learning community in the centre of the city ”

Maria Spies

General Manager, Navitas Learning & Teaching Services

Global education providor, Navitas, have built a vertical campus in the heart of the city; utilising this new typology to position themselves to deliver extensive education services close to where their students work and live.

Navitas turned to Bates Smart for their education and vertical campus expertise to ensure they are future-ready for the rapid changes to the way students learn, driven by technology, shifting demographics and the demands of new economies.

The project is a co-location and complex interweaving of multiple colleges each supported by learning commons and branded front of house spaces.

Navitas Learning & Teaching Services General Manager, Maria Spies, shares some of the learning and teaching design principles behind the project in her article 'Designing spaces for collaboration, community and diversity'

Working in the city, essay by Philip Vivian
The city is the office

 “In today's work culture, people see themselves as working in a precinct, not an office”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Much has been written about the changing nature of both “work” and those who make up the “workforce”. We are working for longer, the workforce is more diverse and we are less likely to stay in one job, or even one career for the whole of our working life. More and more, we are blending our work lives with our private lives.

Read Working in the City, an essay by Philip Vivian.
Philip is a Director of Bates Smart and Contributing Editor to Architecture Australia.


555 Collins Street, Melbourne
Sculptural Tower Doubles Public Open Space on Collins Street


Kristen Whittle

Director, Bates Smart

555 Collins street is a landmark site located at the corner of Collins and King Street on the South-West end of the Hoddle Grid.

The proposed development is a mixed use, residential and retail development that will transform and reinvigorate the western end of the central business district.

The planning outcome has translated into a unique typological solution that sets up new possibilities for the development of CBD streetscapes in Melbourne. The unique form and expressive façade contain over 600 apartments within a 46 level building comprising one, two and three bedroom apartments and rare penthouse units with 360’ views over the Yarra River.

Luxurious amenities will be provided within the lower levels of the building with dynamic and interactive views up and down Collins Street. Facilities include a lap pool, gymnasium, resident’s lounge and private dining areas.

The play of texture and light across the sinuous form will add excitement and intrigue to the vibrancy of Melbourne’s city skyline.

555 Collins Street has an exemplary address. The towers prominence, outlook and formal expression will distinguish this as rare luxuriant residential development of genuine international design standing.

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8 Parramatta Square, Parramatta
Development Application lodged on 72 storey scheme

 “The singular curvilinear form of the tower provides a distinctive image on the Parramatta skyline”

Guy Lake + Philip Vivian

Design Directors, Bates Smart

Walker Corporation's 8 Parramatta Square has been submitted for Development Approval at a height of 72 storeys, with a further 20 storeys planned subject to approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The building balances monumental qualities with clear expression of the building’s residential function and human scale.

Bates Smart won Parramatta City Council's invited design excellence competition for this super tall residential tower, intended as the focal point for Parramatta City Council’s $2B urban renewal project, Parramatta Square. The singular formal expression of the tower presents a soft curvilinear geometry which distinguishes itself from the surrounding commercial buildings - creating an iconic visual landmark on the Parramatta skyline and identifying its civic heart.

In contrast to the monumental height, the tower is wrapped in a 'soft' grid which provides effective sun shading and creates a human scale. The golden bronze toned grid responds to the history and legacy of Parramatta’s sandstone colonial buildings. The tower’s design demonstrates attention to detail, scale and proportion, in the same vein as many of the successful historic buildings in Parramatta.

The low-rise accommodates serviced apartments with balconies while apartments in the mid and high-rise have wintergardens to provide protection from wind. Two swimming pools, gyms, lounge and conferencing facilities provide residents and visitors with high levels of amenity.

At the base of the tower a retail podium mediates between the scale of the tower and the surrounding heritage buildings; the datum for the underside of the tower is set by the nearby St Andrew’s Cathedral spire.

Read more ...

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