JOURNAL/ Adaptive Reuse


August 2013

Evans and Partners, Melbourne
New Life to a Grand Heritage Building

 “Bates Smart have interpreted a truly special work environment for everyone”

David Evans

Executive Chairman, Evans and Partners

The new offices for investment house Evans and Partners occupy seven floors of the Mayfair Building at 171 Collins Street, Melbourne. The project was an integrated fitout realised over two years as part of the new Premium grade commercial tower development, 171 Collins Street, also designed by Bates Smart.

The Mayfair building is unique; with small floor plates at approximately 250sqm each, a heritage listed façade to Collins Street and a new full height glazed south façade overlooking the nine storey high, glazed roofed internal atrium of the 171 development both providing an abundance of natural light to the workspace.

David Evans, Evans and Partners Executive Chairman commented: 'When we were introduced to the 171 project, Bates Smart showed us a wonderful vision. We were confident they would work with us to achieve the desired fit out that Evans and Partners were looking for in the Mayfair Building and they have not let us down.

'Bates Smart have interpreted and delivered a functional, tasteful and professional work environment that has impressed staff, our clients and provided a truly special work environment for everyone.'

Evans and Partners’ new premises reflects their company philosophy of being established, solid advisers with a conservative and attentive investment approach.

Interior Design Director, Jeff Copolov, commented on the project; ''Our design concept centres about a European niche broking house and private bank, where clients are welcome to use the space for personal business while in the city.'

Evans and Partners had requested the space have an old-world, private club aesthetic with eclectic overtones. The Client’s existing artwork was relocated along with two antique furniture pieces. The workplace floors were designed with a residential quality; detailing and finishes paying homage to the design of the heritage listed Mayfair façade.

It was important to encourage and provide for staff interaction and constant dialogue to optimise communication and both formal and informal information flow. Supporting the work zones are comfortable café breakout areas arranged along the bay windows that frame dramatic views of Collins Street. The quiet calm of the office rises above the hustle and bustle that echoes the fast pace of the investment market.

Visit Bates Smart to learn more about this project

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November 2014

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay
Glamorous Luxury Makeover

 “The rooftop pool and lounge presented a fantastic opportunity to frame the bay views in an intimate setting”



The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay has re-opened its doors to the public amid great interest. Bates Smart's interiors are the result of a significant refurbishment of the once-celebrated Ritz Carlton into the most luxurious hotel outside of the CBD.

The design accentuates the best of the original building while adding sophisticated modern touches.

Bates Smart Studio Director Brenton Smith says the design combines classic resort style with a contemporary Sydney twist.

“The approach we took was about contextualising the hotel and reinstating the glamour back into Double Bay,” he says.

“The new InterContinental Sydney Double Bay lies in a remarkable part of Sydney, where a stunning bayside lifestyle combines with high fashion and big business.”

“We’ve extended this feel and built a place to be seen, in a hotel that typifies understated luxury.”

The theme of ‘understated luxury’ is evident throughout the entire refurbishment, which included an overhaul of the rooftop area - creating a sophisticated pool and bar setting for hotel guests, with panoramic views of the harbour.

“For us, the jewel in the crown is the Rooftop Pool and Lounge. The space presented a fantastic opportunity where we were able to frame the bay views in an intimate setting,” explains Smith.“

We wanted to create a relaxed texture and rawness to the space, referencing traditional Mediterranean resorts such as the Amalfi coast or Mykonos, so the materials are light and cool, the limestone split rock wall is quite warm, and the cabanas feature navy blue and white stripes that recall classical beach-side umbrellas.”

Other features include a Grand Ballroom that can facilitate up to 495 guests, a revitalisation of the original marble reception and an intimitate destination restaurant, Stockroom. InterContinental Sydney Double Bay also has 14 Executive Suites and 1 Royal Suite, with private balconies.

A classic marble and leather-clad Stillery gin bar encourages guests to mix with locals within a relaxed setting with a subtle nautical theme, paying tribute to the nearby bay. “It’s the super yacht of bars,” adds Smith.

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Feb/Mar 2014

The Gantry
High Density Housing and Adaptive Reuse in Marrickville, Sydney

Everything Old is New Again

Gantry, a new residential neighbourhood located within the inner city suburb of Camperdown is now complete.

Designed by Bates Smart for long time clients City Freehold Projects, this adaptive reuse development consists of 4 apartment buildings and 26 terraces organised around a large landscaped courtyard.

The project integrates new residential buildings with historic industrial building fabric with the aim of preserving the rich history of the site.

A new public laneway and a road provide improved site access and mid block links. Along Australia Street the sawtooth industrial facades of the 1920s Motor Car Works have been carefully restored and 26 terrace houses located within the pitched roof bays. The gable ends to the historic High Bay Building have been retained and party walls and roof rebuilt to accommodate terrace and loft apartments.

Contemporary apartment planning has been integrated with the historic fabric of the 1922 Fowler pottery warehouses and High Bay building. With over 190 residences, Gantry provides a wide range of housing types including one and two bedroom single storey apartments; two and three storey terraces and three bedroom upper level penthouses.

Bates Smart Director Guy Lake comments on the project:

'Creating a sense of place and diversity of accommodation was key to the success of this project. With demographics predicting that 30% of sydney households will be living in flats by 2030, multi residential development is the most important and fastest growing sector.

'It is without doubt the most difficult sector in which to deliver good architecture yet given its impact on people's lives it is arguably the most important.'

Bates Smart was responsible for the design of the marketing display suite resulting in the majority of the units selling out within days of release.

Visit Bates Smart to learn more about Gantry

Visit Gantry site

Images by Brett Boardman

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June 2016

Australian Technology Park Design Competition
Urban renewal to capture a rising generation of innovators

 “We propose a clear urban framework with long life/loose fit buildings to allow organic change ”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

A holistic approach to urban renewal is being fuelled by the demand for authentic work/life experience in city fringe regeneration areas. The low-tech revolution is driven largely by tech companies that eschew the futuristic 'tech-utopia' in favour of diverse environments that are anything but an office park.

Our research has focused on how to create a bona fide technology ecosystem, adaptable to future uses that aren't even imaginable today. Bates Smart recently took part in a design competition for the The Australian Technology Park in Sydney, Director, Philip Vivian, explains the design approach:

"Future workplaces will create or be part of an authentic urban environment, allowing work to happen everywhere. These places will be mixed-use, integrating cafes and restaurants, as well as shops and apartments: a place to live, work, and relax. Tomorrow's workplace is the city.

"The masterplan framework we propose creates a holistic city precinct, a self-sustaining ecosystem of diverse organisations in a range of tenancy sizes, from the incubated start-up to campus size floorplates linked by bridges. In this arrangement big companies support the small start-ups and small companies help the big firms innovate. They facilitate growth and nurture growing technologies.

"We believe the answer lies in long life/loose fit/low energy buildings. We have identified five principles to building in flexibility and adaptability, where low tech is the new high tech:

1. High ceilings (3.5m to soffit)
2. Concrete core cooling
3. Operable windows
4. Flexible occupation
5. Stays cold / stays warm

Our design proposes to break down the block size to increase permeability of the site, increase its street frontage and create a series of low scaled buildings in keeping with the existing heritage stock. The heritage listed locomotive workshops are refurbished to provide a range of office, retail and hospitality spaces. New office space is designed to provide ample daylight to the deep floorplates.

"Gathering spaces, retail and wellness facilities are arranged at ground level to maximise activation and draw in the surrounding community. Public open spaces and a fine grained network of laneways will create the diverse and contrasting social conditions where urban life thrives."

Purpose designed and highly connected workplaces drive innovation in spaces to think, collaborate and create. Long-life loose fit buildings provide flexible, scalable and multifunctional space with room for diverse companies to coexist.

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June 2017

Radisson Blu, Sydney
Leading 5 Star Hotel relaunches with a new aesthetic

“This investment will cement Radisson Blu's position as one of the leading five-star hotels in Sydney”

Peter Tudehope

Radisson Blu General Manager

Our design team have just completed a $12 million redesign of the 5 star Radisson Blu Hotel function spaces and guest rooms. 364 rooms have been redesigned to reference the classic details of the grand heritage building providing a greater connection between the architecture and the interiors. In addition 500 sqm of function spaces have been transformed enabling the hotel to accomodate upto 200 guests for private and corporate events.

Bates Smart Studio Director, Brenton Smith, commented on the redesign:

"We embraced the distinctive characteristics of this grand building with a timeless modern palette. It was important to create a greater connection between the elegant facade and the interior."

Ultra-high-speed technology has been discretely integrated to ensure the hotel caters for business guests as well as holiday travellers.

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May-June 2014

Gantry Development
Wins Top Council Award 2014

The Gantry, development by Bates Smart, was awarded the 2014 Marrickville Medal in recognition of the conservation of the cultural heritage of Marrickville.

The development skillfully blends a range of residential buildings around a large landscaped courtyard. The new buildings provide a contrasting backdrop for the restored sawtooth heritage facade while subtly referencing the site.

Congratulations to the team and to our colleagues at OCP Architects for their heritage work on this development.

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Enduring Architecture 2018

Smart Talks | Melbourne

293051601 293051601

Preservation vs Progression

A lively panel discussion around the subject of preservation versus progression took place in Bates Smart's Gallery space in Melbourne on September 5. The discussion was broken into three main viewpoints from a heritage perspective – the individual’s own favourite buildings, a sample heritage building discussion, and the city as a whole.

Special thanks to our panel: Chris Kakoufas, Cbus Property; Peter Lovell, Lovell Chen; Romilly Madew, Green Building Council of Australia; Professor Julie Willis, University of Melbourne and Tim Leslie, Bates Smart (Moderator)

View the event images

February-March 2016

The Bays Precinct, Sydney
The Transformation Plan

Call for great ideas

Urban regeneration or renewal is currently a significant driver of development in Sydney. From Barangaroo, already well underway, to Central To Eveleigh (C2E), Wentworth Point and Lachlan’s Line, there are significant opportunities to reinvent the city and position it for the future.

Government agency, Urbangrowth, recently conducted the 'Call for Great Ideas for the Bays Precinct', designed to tease out concepts for the future of this significant part of Sydney’s foreshore. The precinct consists of 95 hectares of government-owned land, 94 hectares of harbour waterways and sits within 2km of the central business district. It includes White Bay Power Station, Rozelle Rail Yards, White Bay and the Sydney Fish Markets.

Bates Smart was invited to join a consortium to participate in the Call for Great Ideas, led by Australand, now Frasers Property Australia.

In the spirit of collaboration, and in the interests of creating a diverse and multi-layered urban response, the multidisciplinary team included HDR, Candelapas Associates, Turner Studio, AECOM, McGregor Coxall, Atelier 10, WSP and Elton Consulting.

Together, the group identified several themes and opportunities including: best practice high-density living; potential to create new learning hubs; programmes for year-long activation of the precinct; and opportunities to extend the parameters of the precinct to achieve higher quality public domain outcomes.

The diversity of ideas generated demonstrates the benefit of approaching a large precinct, consisting of a number of disparate elements, in a multidisciplinary way that encouraged a range of responses.

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