JOURNAL/ Commercial


March 2015

Winner - WAN Commercial Award
180 Thomas Street wins hard fought international competition

 “A worthy addition to Sydney's fast-emerging architectural precinct of Haymarket”

Commercial Award Jury

WAN Awards

180 Thomas Street, Sydney has won the WAN Commercial Award in a hard-fought competition. The WAN Awards are the world's largest architectural awards program attracting entries from around the world.

The WAN Commercial Award saw a huge range of fantastic projects, this category celebrates and promotes the best in international architecture for commercial use with entries from offices, retail, hotels and tourism resorts.

The jury found the project to be a clever response to its urban context "an urban repair which is a challenge in itself and very well executed indeed."

A jury of three international architects judged the best commercial completed projects in the UK: Earle Arney, Chief Executive of FKA Architecture + Interiors, Jacqueline Beckingham, Director and Design Leader at Benoy and Stephen Pey, Associate Director of EPR Architects.

Visit the WAN Awards

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April 2014

Sydney Studio Competition Work
Kuala Lumpur International Financial District Tower

Signature Tower for Kuala Lumpur

Bates Smart's Sydney studio was invited to participate in an international design competition for a signature tower in the new Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) since renamed Tan Rusuk Exchange.

Two kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the development has the potential to transform Kuala Lumpur's identity as a global financial centre, with the tower acting as a beacon for the entire development.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian talks about the Sydney studio's design proposal:

"Our design integrates current workplace thinking, creating three large highly interconnected work spaces, with hubs at the natural intersection of circulation and form. The resulting floorplate is flexible, efficient, and designed for financial services firms in today’s knowledge economy.

'The 380m tall triangular geometry responds to the masterplan axis, sits comfortably within the KLIFD parkland while maximising views of Kuala Lumpur and hills beyond.'

'Inspired by the growth patterns of bamboo, the organic triangular form is highly efficient in terms of wind shear, creating a cost effective structure. The environmental approach is integral to the architecture, with a layered facade reducing heat load and glare, while recalling traditional architecture.'

The building elegantly tapers to create an omni directional iconic profile on the skyline, its warm soft glassy image theatrically playing with the Petronas Towers to create a uniquely Malaysian skyline.

This building’s timeless design will be attractive and adaptable to the needs of tenants through the next century.

The design is now short-listed with designs from SOM and Foster + Partners from an original field of twelve.

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October 2014

180 Thomas Street, Sydney
New Office Building Resolves Complex Design Challenge

 “The Site Required a Special Response, Both to the Rich Local Historic Context and the Rapidly Development Built Environment”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Located on a prominent corner in the heart of Sydney’s bustling Haymarket, the 180 Thomas Street project was won through a City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition. The design achieved bonus height and FSR on the basis of design excellence.

The new commercial development and integrated workplace has responded to challenging site restrictions and a rapidly evolving urban context to deliver a worthy addition to Sydney’s fast-emerging architectural precinct of Haymarket.

The design challenge was to build on top of an existing building which had columns and a central lift core integrated into its original design restricting floorplate flexibility and reducing connectivity. Our solution was to place a series of steel transfer trusses on top of the existing structure. This allowed the floorplate to cantilever beyond the existing building, increasing the floor area and aligning with the street wall while also providing flexibility with the column grid.

A steel structure was chosen to avoid increasing the load on the existing structure. The lifts were relocated to the exterior of the building and enclosed in a vertical glass volume to express the building’s vertical movement while enlivening the Ultimo Pedestrian Network.

Bates Smart Project Director, Philip Vivian commented on the design form:

"Located diagonally across from the new Frank Gehry UTS building, the design needed a strong presence. The architectural form reinterprets the semi-industrial linear forms of historic Haymarket to create a contemporary building that respects the diverse scale and context of the area.

"The form is articulated into a series of seemingly random, stacked, horizontal volumes of varying heights. Each horizontal layer is expressed by a different solar shading system, creating a layered effect of stacked, linear boxes."

The lobby is a transparent glass volume beneath the building, between the lifts and original structure. A dramatic public artwork by Lucas Grogan on the building wall frames the lobby.

The building has achieved a 5 Star Green Star rating, incorporating passive solar shading, and chilled beam cooling.

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Aug-Sept 2014

A New Commercial Building for 151 Clarence Street, Sydney, Creates Premium Campus Space

 “A terrace level between the two volumes offers outstanding tenant amenity in terms of views and outdoor space”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

The purpose of Bates Smart's Journal is to share both built and unbuilt work, with this in mind we are publishing a series of our recent studio competition work, starting with a new commercial building for Investa.

Bates Smart was invited to participate in a City of Sydney Design Excellence Alternatives competition for a commercial property at 151 Clarence Street. The site is adjacent to another Bates Smart project, the heritage Red Cross building at 155 Clarence Street.

Bates Smart's approach aimed to optimise the NLA of the new commercial building while maximising the urban, environmental and economic benefits of the development.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian, talks about the team's design concept:

"Our vision employed warm, masonry materials to create a sensitive response to the scale and materiality of the immediate heritage context without resorting to mimicry.

"Within the podium we have inserted an atrium to create an interconnected campus work environment with excellent natural light distribution onto the commercial floorplates. On the upper levels, a glazed tower with panoramic views of Darling Harbour maximises daylight penetration into the atrium while creating a conference, skylobby and entertainment level with expansive outdoor terrace."

The terrace level adopts a dynamic W transfer structure which reconciles the economical structural grids utilised within the podium and tower floors.

At ground level, a new through site link connects Clarence Street to Kent Street via a generous two storey galleria which intersects with the 9 storey high naturally lit podium atrium.

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Aug-Sept 2014

In Conversation With

The creative collaboration between Bates Smart and Electrolight has resulted in many award winning projects.

Bates Smart Studio Director Tim Leslie asks Electrolight founder Paul Beale where he finds his inspiration. Read the article here.

Read more about Electrolight's Lighting Design for 171 Collins Street on DZN World.

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May-June 2014

Glass Artist Collaboration

Hot Stuff!

30 hand-crafted 5kg glass light pendants are one of the outstanding features of Adelaide Casino's Barossa Room which recently opened.

Bates Smart and contractor, Schiavello, worked in collaboration with some of the world's most skilled glass artists at the JamFactory in Adelaide to design this spectacular feature.

The Glass Studio's creative director, Karen Cunningham, explains the process of creating the glass pendants.

'Due to the weight and size of the light shades and the faded colour application, we required a large team to alternate and help with the lifting and turning to heat specific areas and to shield the 'gaffer' (head glass blower on a team) from the radiating heat of the glass. 12 highly skilled glass blowers worked as a team in the hot glass studio.

Once out of the kiln the pieces were 'cold worked', involving grinding, cutting, polishing and drilling. From start to finish each unit went through 16 pairs of hands. The fittings were custom designed and some components were milled in our metal studio.'

Learn more about The JamFactory

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May-June 2014

In the Press
Iglu Central Profiled

'Weathering steel picks up the colour of the surrounding brick buildings without imitating it.'

Bates Smart Director Guy Lake comments on his choice of cladding for the landmark Iglu Central building in the latest issue of Steel Profile.

Read the article here.

November 2014

In the Press
Philip Vivian Interview

In this interview, journalist Greg Brown talks to Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian, about how the shift to a knowledge economy has changed the design of office buildings over the past decade. Read the article here.

First published in The Australian.


Enduring Architecture 2018

Environmental Solutions | Timber Talks

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Sharing Timber expertise

With four cross laminated timber buildings under development in the studios, Philip Vivian and Basil Richardson are preparing a series of knowledge sharing presentations on designing and building with new timber technology.

Both Philip and Basil will be presenting at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2018 Middle East Conference 'Polycentric Cities, The Future of Vertical Urbanism'. Philip will be participating in the panel session: 'Tall Timber 2030: Where Will We Be? Basil will presenting 'Tall Timber x2: Towers in Brisbane and Melbourne' as part of the 'Tall Timber: Asia & Australia' Session. The emphasis on timber demonstrates its renewed relevance in contemporary environmental construction.

25 King, Brisbane, shown here, reaches practical completion at the end of this month.

Commercial 2019

In the press: Victoria Cross, Over Station Development on ArchitectureAU

“Our aim is to create a highly permeable podium that will contribute to the public life of North Sydney ”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Tower with 'sky gardens' proposed above planned Sydney Metro Station.

ArchitectureAU reports on our scheme for Victoria Station overstation development.

"Transport for NSW is seeking to secure approval for the concept design of a 42-storey office tower, by Bates Smart, which is proposed as an integrated station development above the planned Victoria Cross metro station in North Sydney.

The site is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Miller and Berry Streets. It neighbours the heritage-listed MLC Building, which itself was designed by Bates, Smart and McCutcheon and built in 1957.

The concept stage of the application asks for a maximum building height of 168 metres, or approximately 42 storeys, with a maximum gross floor area of 60,000 square metres.

The indicative building design comprises a glazed office tower, formed from a number of stacked, stepped volumes. The form would allow for the provision of a number of “sky gardens” overlooking the North Sydney Skyline and Sydney Harbour.

In a built form and urban design report, the architects said that the way the tower would interact with the ground plane was a primary consideration, given the presence of the proposed metro station. The indicative design also includes a podium that uses “Y” columns to create a lobby, a station entrance and a concourse that would be “virtually column-free” and allow for nearly unimpeded foot traffic.

“Our aim is to create a highly permeable podium that will contribute to the public life of North Sydney,” said Philip Vivian, director of Bates Smart.

“As work becomes less private and more integrated into the city, our podium is truly a connective space between the public realm and the private realm of the workplace.”

Transport for NSW proposes to construct the tower as part of an integrated development package, which would result in the combined delivery of the station, the tower and public domain improvements.

The application, which seeks approval for a building envelope, is now on public exhibition. In March 2018, Transport for NSW announced three shortlisted groups for the tender to build the Victoria Cross integrated station development: Lendlease Development, John Holland Charter Hall Joint Venture and Dexus Funds Management. A future detailed design application for the building would have to be lodged by the group that eventually secures the development rights above the station.

The station will be constructed as part of stage two of the Sydney Metro project, which includes the construction and operation of a new metro rail line from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour through Sydney’s CBD to Sydenham and on to Bankstown through the conversion of the existing railway line. Tunnel constructions for the Metro will take place from 2018 to 2020 and construction of the stations is due to begin in 2021. The second stage of the metro is due to open in 2024.

International practice Foster and Partners and Australian partner practice Architectus were appointed to design six new Sydney Metro stations, including Victoria Cross, in April 2017."

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Live Well / Travel Well 2019

Canberra Hotel | the capital's newest work / dine / stay precinct

refined vs raw: striking a material counterbalance

Constitution Place is set to become one of Canberra’s most vibrant urban commercial, hotel and dining precincts. Combining a network of fine grain public spaces, an activated eat street, premium grade office space and the new headquarters of the ACT Government, Constitution Place will also be home to a new Canberra Hotel.

The Canberra Hotel will take up residence in the taller and more monumental of the two buildings that make up Constitution Place. The refined façade is expressed with fine, charcoal grey fins that speak of verticality, providing guests privacy from the bustling Lyric Lane below and shading to the west and north-east elevations of the hotel. Guests will be greeted with a heavy material counterpoint to the exterior when entering the hotel’s ground floor lobby, a space that celebrates the rawness of travertine with a saturation of the hero material in various textures. This raw materiality extends into corridors and all 132 hotel rooms with exposed pre-cast concrete walls and in-situ concrete ceilings.

The Canberra Hotel will boast generous room sizes with a mixture of studio, 1 bed and 2 bed apartments. The design thinking for the guest rooms evokes a box-within-a-box concept with a layered procession of spaces housed within concrete walls and timber joinery – from the living area, to the bedroom, and finishing with the calacatta marble feature in the bathroom. Apartments take advantage of the unique floorplate geometry to offer panoramic views across Vernon Circle and Lake Burley Griffin. The building is designed to achieve a 5 Star NABERS Energy Rating and WELLs Gold Rating for the Canberra Hotel.

Constitution Place is the third major project that Bates Smart has undertaken with Canberra Airport Group, and the second hotel with integrated architecture and interiors following Canberra Airport Hotel in 2015. Construction on the Constitution Place Canberra Hotel is due for completion in mid-2020.

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Feb/Mar 2014

2014 AIA Media Awards
Closing Soon!

The Architecture in the Media Award (Victoria) and the Adrian Ashton Prize for Architectural Writing and Criticism (NSW) are now open for entry.

Bates Smart is proud to sponsor these AIA Awards, Australia’s most prestigious media awards for journalists, editors, producers and others reporting on architecture and design. The awards have become an integral part of the Australian Institute of Architects annual awards programs.

For more information and closing dates:

Bates Smart Architecture in the Media Award(Victorian Chapter)

Adrian Ashton Prize for Architecture in the Media (NSW Chapter)

Pictured: Justine Clarke, winner of the Bates Smart Architecture in the Media Award 2013 for Parlour.

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April 2014

Australian Embassy Washington DC

Perfect Symmetry

In 1964, Bates Smart and McCutcheon were appointed to design the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. This prestigious commission was a high honour and a rare opportunity.

Fifty years on we are proud to report that this elegant building has defied the test of time.

The Australian chancery was the first purpose-built antipodean embassy since Australia House, London, built in 1918. It had to fulfill a demanding brief including high security, fall-out shelters as well as ambassadorial and diplomatic suites and was located in a city largely dedicated to the Beaux-Arts architectural style.

The resulting abstract form acknowledged the city's preoccupation with the Beaux-Arts while following the contemporary US embassy style of classical modernism and adhering to the city's height restrictions.

Facades of perfect symmetry and order are clad in white Tennesse marble with bronze tinted glass. The interior makes extensive use of Australian timbers, furnishings and contemporary Australian art.

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