JOURNAL/ Hospitality


November 2013

Proposed W Hotel, Melbourne
A Homage to our History, Stepping Into the Future

 “The project respects the past, embraces the present and provides a new future for the area”

Roger Poole

Chairman, Bates Smart on the proposed W Melbourne

Property developers, Jinshan Investments, recently unveiled plans for a new W Hotel in Melbourne’s business district. The proposed 200 key hotel and residential project will be the flagship development for the regeneration of Melbourne’s parliamentary precinct.

Designed by Bates Smart, the new building exudes contemporary luxury while honouring classic design. It is respectful of the site’s history and engages with the vibrancy of modern Melbourne.

Bates Smart Chairman, Roger Poole commented on the facade design: ‘We studied the layering of buildings of varying scale and character as they form the backdrop to Spring Street. We drew inspiration from the existing vertical expression of surrounding buildings. Simple elegant lines can create depth and interest. Verticality, layering and rich detailing are central to our facade concept.’

Fine screens and bay windows on the podium facade will echo the rhythm of the surrounding buildings. The podium will add amenity to the city, the four tiered flexible space becoming a venue for cultural, hospitality and entertainment venues.

The ground plane is open, and the hotel lobby will become an extension of the street. The development will unlock the laneways around the site, and a new laneway will be designed to pay homage to the eclectic Melbourne laneway heritage, whilst creating an inviting, safe and re-energised precinct. The development is ready to proceed upon planning approval.

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Feb/Mar 2014

A new Club Stand for the Victoria Racing Club
Designed to Build on the Existing Heritage at Flemington

 “The design acknowledges the site context in which the theatre of horse racing is played out on all sides”

Kristen Whittle

Director, Bates Smart

Flemington’s new Club Stand is a celebration of the history and character and joy of Flemington and the Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne, home to the annual Melbourne Cup race. 

It provides a new home for VRC Members, a place to continue the long and rich traditions associated with thoroughbred racing at this famous location.

In contrast to traditional sports stadia, the Club Stand presents itself in the round. In doing so it captures the spirit of the promenading which enhances enjoyment of a day at the races. The sweeping curvilinear forms promote this unique movement and energy.

The design acknowledges site context in which the theatre of horse racing is played out on all sides - mounting yard, track and members’ lawn to the south; parade ring and day stalls to the east; betting ring to the north; existing grandstands and winning post to the west.

The new Club Stand occupies virtually the same footprint as the Members’ Old Grandstand, but will provide increased capacity and more diverse venues and facilities in response to contemporary expectations.  For race-goers the new building will ensure an enhanced experience with improved hospitality offerings, internal circulation and amenities.  Operationally the building will provide staff and caterers with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure that safe and efficient services support the member experience.

The spaces inside the building are to be imbued with a sense of history without feeling beholden to it - featuring elements of the past, but interpreted with clean and sophisticated lines in a modern style and using warm materials.The story of Flemington Racecourse and the VRC is to be woven into the fabric of the building through material, pattern, pictorial and artefact reference and displays.

The Club Stand is designed to build on the existing heritage at Flemington, and in turn to be an iconic part of the heritage of Flemington’s future.

Read the press: The AgeRacing Network, Sky Racing

Visit Bates Smart to read more about this project.

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January-February 2015

Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Brisbane
New workplace unveiled

 “Our People are benefitting from greater connectivity and our clients love it too”

John W.H. Denton AO

Corrs partner and CEO

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has stayed close to their vision to create open, flexible and collaborative working environments to foster knowledge sharing and mentoring, client connectivity, mobility and use of leading technology.

Corrs staff have settled into their new workplace in Brisbane, the newly completed project is part of a national roll-out of premises across all of Corrs’ offices - Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

As a leading national legal practice with a strong global network plus links to Asia, an integral part of the firm’s strategy is to transform each of its offices into inspirational and innovative workspaces.

Bates Smart Studio Director Brenton Smith comments:  “By taking away the traditional corner offices that the profession expects, the design team had to provide something equally valuable. Critical to the success of the open solution is the high ratio of immediately accessible focus rooms. Highly tailored and technology enabled work desks and meeting rooms, ensure ease of transition between work points, and enable staff to select the environment to best suit their task.”

The client facing areas and cafe combine the best of luxury hospitality design with seamless corporate efficiency, both staff and clients enjoy taking advantage of this space to interact and connect.

The Corrs Brisbane project has captured the personality of the local team and provided a sense of regional identity for the world-class Australian headquartered firm.

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November 2013

Boheme, Bondi Beach, Sydney
Coastal Culture

 “We are thrilled with the results and see this building as a catalyst for future quality projects in Bondi”

Allan Vidor

Managing Director, The Toga Group

Boheme, Bondi is fast becoming a destination in this iconic coastal suburb of Sydney. Designed by Bates Smart for The Toga Group, this is a mixed use development offering a combination of 44 luxury apartments, a 113 key Adina hotel and extensive retail areas with basement parking.

The Toga Group's Managing Director, Allan Vidor, comments on the design:

'Bates Smart have skillfully blended the needs of residents, restaurant and hotel guests and shoppers alike, allowing each group to fully enjoy the environment. This is a very successful project for us and we've received overwhelmingly positive comments in reaction to it.'

Bates Smart director, Philip Vivian explains the design intent: 'The building amalgamates four sites with dual street frontage. We designed the podium to incorporate the identity of Bondi’s art deco buildings and colourful streetscapes and to reflect the rhythm and height of the surrounding masonry buildings.

'The residential levels are contained above in a curvaceous form. We carefully refined this mass and set it back from the street to reduce the visual impact on the surrounding area.'

Apartment interiors epitomise the development's name and design philosophy with a colour palette derived from water, sunlight and sand.

The retail promenade forms a through site link and is attracting the best of Sydney’s fresh food providores, delicatessans and restaurants.

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May-June 2014

Jeff Copolov
The New Luxury Defined at Hotelsworld July

The Look of Luxury

What does luxury mean in 2014? What does it look like, who are the luxury guests and what should hoteliers focus on?

Interior Design Director, Jeff Copolov, will be addressing these issues and more at the Hotelsworld conference in Sydney, 16-18 July.

Hotelsworld, sponsored by Bates Smart, attracts an unprecedented level of industry support for a regional event.

Learn more about Hotelsworld

Image courtesy of Karen Walker Eyewear

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Feb/Mar 2014

Hotel Forum

The Next Big Hit

The Marriner Group has a proud reputation not only for Phantom of the Opera but also for the restoration of the magnificent Princess and Regent Theatres in Melbourne.

Now with Bates Smart an exciting mixed use development is proposed for the site to the north of the degraded Forum Theatre, one of Melbourne’s great architectural extravaganzas.

The development will include a 220 room 4-star hotel with sky lobby, commercial office, retail and penthouse apartments.

An 8 storey podium maintains the streetscape context while the tower is articulated into two elements which step in response to the gradient of the street.

The facade concept for the new building interprets the ornate and decorative facades of the Forum Theatre, while the rectilinear massing forms a backdrop to the exuberant character and language of the heritage building.

The faceted curtain-wall facade system under development utilises modern glazing technologies to give the building subtle modelling and articulation.

Town planning approval has been applied for.

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November 2013

Winners, Owners & Trainers Bar

Modest Scale Big Personality

Turnbull Stakes Day traditionally kicks off the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington Racecourse as a preview of things to come for this most social of Melbourne sporting festivals.

This year saw the unveiling of a bar designed by Bates Smart heralding a new era of design for the Victorian Racing Club (VRC).

Bates Smart have commenced work on the new Club Stand for members to be completed in time for Spring Carnival 2017.

At 1170sqm the Winners, Owners and Trainers bar is modest in scale, though big in personality. An 'invitation only' bar and lounge, this is VRC's exclusive offer of hospitality to owners and trainers of horses competing on race days.

Bates Smart created a distinctive design with bespoke elements including custom designed wallpaper using reproductions of archived press cuttings from the 1930s. Finishes and detailing are earthy to reflect equestrian influences.

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Aug-Sept 2014

Adelaide Casino
Wins Master Builder Award

Solid Gold

Many congratulations to our colleagues Schiavello and the project team for scooping the South Australia Master Builders Award for the Platinum Room and the Baccarat Pavilion, Adelaide Casino. 

A fantastic result for these high-end hospitality spaces that are characterised by meticulous details and bespoke fittings.

Read more about this project in Journal February 2014


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July 2014

Pacific Bondi Beach Hotel

See & Be Seen!

Pacific Bondi is an exciting mixed-use development facing Bondi Beach that offers a mix of residential, hotel and retail outlets.

Bates Smart has been engaged to design the atrium and public spaces which will connect high-end restaurants, boutiques and retail spaces on the ground floor.

A lush green atrium akin to an ampitheatre will unify the mixed-use space. The design is casual and unpretentious, it welcomes residents home as well as visitors to the hotel and retail areas.

Patterned screen awnings between sandstone and plant clad columns reference the art deco style of the building and form pockets of intimacy around the perimeter of the atrium. These screens create a 'secret garden' feel within the space, patterned with an interesting play of shadows and dappled light. The amphitheatre becomes a place to “see and be seen.”

The chosen palette of materials is both tonal and textured; sandstone, concrete hexagonal tiles, and textured paint. The atrium is intersected by a walkway of recycled timber connecting the Porte Cochere to the retail zones.

Bates Smart will also design the residential lift lobbies and connecting corridors. The corridors have a strong local reference – a “boardwalk” style carpet and wall graphics that play on shadow and light.

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June 2017

'Living with the River' installation by artist Ian Dowling
Crown Towers Perth

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Link to Muzi's vimeo by using vimeo movie number in box above

New Hotels 2018

Illoura House, Melbourne

“Marriott recognises the continued evolution of the St. Kilda Road”

Antonio Tarros

Project Director, Woodlink

Bates Smart has worked closely with the Melbourne based developer, Woodlink, to design an 18 storey premium mixed-use development on St. Kilda Road in the latest evolution of Melbourne’s original grand boulevard.

Illoura House will be home to Australia’s first five-star Marriott Executive Apartments. This international luxury brand caters for long-stay travellers with all the comforts of home and imbues a sense of community through a focus on extensive social spaces. Marriott will operate 176 concierge serviced apartment rooms across the lower five levels of the development.

The project will also feature 163 premium residential apartments alongside the serviced apartments and incorporates a roof garden terrace, ground level retail and resort style amenities. At the heart of the project is a tranquil courtyard garden which brings light, nature and a serene contemplative atmosphere to the surrounding public spaces.

Bates Smart Director Kristen Whittle commented:

“The Illoura House design salutes St Kilda Road’s distinguished past while adding a robust and enduring modern building with classical lines that enhance the boulevard’s architecture.”

The apartment interiors will exemplify a handmade quality with natural materials such as stone, timber and metal employed in different ways in order to provide a rich and tactile experience. Construction is to commence in 2019.

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Victoria Racing Club 2018

Kristen Whittle Shares the journey

“clarity, transparency and simplicity were the key factors in the design of the building”

Kristen Whittle

Director, Bates Smart

Kristen Whittle looks back over the past five years of working on The Club Stand project to answer a few questions for Journal.

Let’s talk about the brief, how much creative freedom were you given by the Victoria Racing Club?

It was very clear to everyone in the beginning that there was an opportunity to do a world-first with this project. There was a huge ambition present that came from the Board and also from Victoria Racing Club Chairman, Amanda Elliott. We jumped into this project absorbing all of that energy and in a sense it translated into the form of the building. The Board had such profound knowledge of what they wanted but also left the doors open as to how that could manifest.

Our job was to capture the nuances, the pragmatics, the budget and roll it into a piece that was made-to-measure for Flemington, something comprehensively new and completely innovative in terms of what it meant for horse racing worldwide.

Can you describe your creative process?
With a serious piece like this you've got to have a certain amount of introspection. I think there's a sort of honesty and authenticity that you're tapping into and projects such as this require you to invent something from the heart, from your gut, so in a sense it starts with immersion and dialogue. Through conversations with Amanda Elliott, experiencing Flemington, and allowing that to mix and meld together, thoughts start to move around and then when you start drawing and working out the pragmatic aspects of how view lines and relationships between buildings work, it snaps together into a kind of philosophy. That's just part of the magic of designing and part of the magic of creating stuff, because half of it is rational and half of it is irrational and very guttural and instinctive and that is very much the case with this project.

The oval shape of the building is not typical in horse racing stadia, can you explain the thinking behind it?
The oval form of the building, both in plan and shape, resolved a lot of the key problems for the site’s location. It is on one end of the array of stadiums, putting it at some distance away from the finishing line, but it is surrounded by activity, including the Mounting Yard, the Parade Ring and the Members Lawn, the ovaloid form helped to capture those ceremonial moments.

Transparency is also fundamental, wherever the public are you want to be able to open up the views out of the building, to grasp hold of those key moments: the starting gate, the complete view of the track, the finishing line as well as the wonderful overall context. So, clarity, transparency and simplicity were the key factors in the design of the building.

Is it fair to say you set out to design an ‘iconic’ building?
We wanted to design something that was going to be strong, memorable and symbolic - I don't really like to use the term iconic - because iconic is something that time and memory projects onto the building. Our initial thought processes determined a very distinctive and clear rationale that resolved functional problems but also created a very beautiful object. The syncopation of those two worlds gives the shape purpose. It is that clarity and strength that I think will give the building a lot of power into the future and will give it an endurance for the next fifty to one hundred years.

Bates Smart and the Victoria Racing Club both have long histories, did you see some synergy in that lineage?
There are so many crossovers in the long history of our practice and the history of Flemington, it generated a rich dialogue and rapport that was much examined.

We undertook a study trip to the Champagne region of France with the team from Pernod Ricard. The three brands, each with a unique historic lineage, collaborated to create the world's first champagne bar for GH Mumm; that was a highly memorable experience for us. I think history in today's world is often overlooked, in the context of a city, those profound, poetic moments that a city can give you are becoming increasingly hard to come by and even harder to generate.

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Quality of life Series hospitality 2019

The CityShapers Interview Series | Neil Maxwell M&L Hospitality

“Our hotels have soul, if you are staying in Melbourne you need to know you are in Melbourne ”

Neil Maxwell

Director, M&L Hospitality

Strong designs and client relationships involve a lot of conversation. Often, these talks remain private, off paper, but they’re rife with ideas that shape our design responses and, ultimately, the built environment. We are launching our CityShaper interviews in order to share more of this thinking and the insights that underpin the buildings, interiors and spaces that we design.

In the first of the series, Bates Smart Interior Design Director, Brenton Smith, talks to Neil Maxwell from leading international hospitality real estate investment platform, M&L Hospitality.

Celebrating a decade of investment in hotels, M&L Hospitality have built up a portfolio of properties across Asia Pacific and Europe. Brenton sat down with Neil and discussed the strategy behind M&L Hospitality’s success. We’ve boiled that conversation down to three key points.

Each hotel has to have its own DNA.
I think there has been a generational shift. Travellers are much more interested in authenticity.

We try to give our hotels personality, and to be aspirational and think about what a hotel can be. We work closely with designers to look at the space, the heritage and the context before we bring in the operator. Operators can give a lot of input, as they are seeing what works and new ideas across the world, but each hotel has to have its own sense of identity.

I like to think our hotels have soul, if you are staying in Melbourne you need to know you are in Melbourne through the feel of the hotel and the same with Brussels, Amsterdam and so forth. Something has to talk about Amsterdam, it’s not just about the brand. You can go to some hotels and forget where you are in the world.

As a customer, if your room really does everything you want it to do, then the room size is not that important.
It comes down to a clever room design, incorporating practical elements like a great bed and shower and fast WiFi.

We do tend to spend money on our hotels more frequently than our peers. We need to do this to remain relevant. Changing a carpet is not a refurbishment, it’s product maintenance. We keep a dynamic in our portfolio by measuring a hotel’s relevance to its locality. We want to give people a reason to keep coming back. Sometimes that means changing the brand and repositioning.

The hotel choice out there is exponential, so it’s all about planning, planning, planning and execution. We put a lot of time into this—it has to be seamless.

F+B spaces are often key. We are firm believers in independent operators to allow a bar to flourish, have its own personality and to broaden the audience. Initially we built up the Zephyr Bar in the Hyatt Regency as a standalone to the hotel brand. It’s positioned high up on the skyline. We made sure we designed it from the barman’s point of view and what we wanted to see in the bar for the customer, not the operator. It’s been highly successful for the past few years and really a great example of our approach.

We don’t believe in highly segmented profiling of what each type of traveller would want.
None of us know our customers that well. I think sometimes, in an attempt to understand everything that a customer wants, the point of what they need can be missed. This can actually be quite simple, but it has to been done really well. Your customers will tell you immediately through social media if your offering is wrong.

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Live Well / Travel Well 2019

Jeff Copolov, Designing for a holistic experience

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“The experience of a space is not just visual, you can imbue a lot of qualities through all the senses ”

Jeffery Copolov

Director, Bates Smart

How does the hotelier stay ahead when travel today is anything but standardized? “In order to create a memorable guest experience you have to focus on the finer details,” says Bates Smart Interior Design Director Jeff Copolov.

Jeff participated in the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) in Sydney last month. Leaders from the Ovolo Group, Artyzen Hospitality Group and StayWell Prince Hotels joined Jeff in a discussion session named: “Putting the Style in Lifestyle – What Defines the Category and How to Differentiate”. The panel set out to mine for the finer details that distinguish and elevate the guest experience. A consistent narrative emerged around the thoughtful and textural details that differentiate, such as linen sheets and designer soaps, combined with elements of the unexpected and evidence of the human touch to ultimately reframe luxury beyond sheer aesthetics.

In this short film Jeff Copolov explains Bates Smart's holistic approach to interior design appealing to all the senses.

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