JOURNAL/ Urban Renewal


July 2014

Design Excellence Competition Win
Sydney Olympic Park

 “This building will be the next generation of environmental apartment living at Olympic Park”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Bates Smart has won an invited design competition for a new residential tower, at Sydney Olympic Park. This will be the third residential tower undertaken by the practice at Olympic Park. The 34 storey tower contains 378 apartments and a series of dramatic vertical communal sky gardens providing environmental benefits.

The design concept for the tower creates a new ‘vertical community’ and achieves high levels of environmental performance with exceptional residential amenity. It is simultaneously the edge condition, entry marker and gateway on a site where the Olympic Park meets Bicentennial Park and where city meets nature.

Project Director Philip Vivian explains the design approach:
"The design response is a unique triangular shaped tower that is a slender entry marker to Olympic Park, while also responding to its pivotal location. The soft corners reflect the elliptical towers further along Australia Avenue, while vertical gardens continue the landscape of Bicentennial Parklands into the third dimension."

Environmentally the design cleans, filters and cools air to apartments and common areas, provides cross ventilation to apartments and common areas, shades apartments in summer while admitting winter sunlight. This building will be the next generation of environmental apartment living at Olympic Park.

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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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May-June 2014

Sydney 2050, Supertall Developments Fund Transport System
Bates Smart Collaborates With Urban Taskforce

 “To be a global city Sydney must have ambitions beyond a 1970s landmark”

Philip Vivian

Director, Bates Smart

Bates Smart was one of three of Sydney’s leading design firms invited by the Urban Taskforce to create a vision for Sydney in 2050 which challenges the current height limits.

Lead by Philip Vivian the Bates Smart vision for the sustainable future growth of Sydney links sustainability, transport and economic development. ‘For Sydney to sustainably increase density it needs a fully integrated transport system. Our proposal is for future supertall development in the city to fund a sustainable transport system' says Philip Vivian.

View the press here:

The scheme proposes a new Rapid Transit system to service the CBD and inner ring suburbs of Sydney, while the existing heavy rail network will service outer ring suburbs as well as provide an express service to the city centre. To directly link supertall development to a sustainable transport network, supertall buildings are allowed within 200m of a transport node in the city centre.

The economic uplift to these zones will be captured through the purchase of ‘Supertall Floor Space’ from the Government, which will go directly to pay for a new rapid transit system. Using the current value of Heritage Floor Space as a benchmark, and compounding its value over 35 years Bates Smart estimates this realizes $7.1 Billion to fund a sustainable transport network.These principles have been quantified in a parametric model to create a future vision of Sydney.

The concept allows for a potential 12.5 million sqm of new floor space resulting in significant economic uplift for Sydney.

Read the latest Urban Taskforce publication Urban Ideas Issue 8

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April-May 2016

Masterplan for Randwick
Creative interpretation of the existing landscape

Newmarket Green

Bates Smart has recently completed a masterplan for Newmarket Green for CBUS Property.

Led by Studio Director, Matthew Allen, the project will provide 750 new dwellings and 2000m2 retail space for the Randwick area.

The five hectare masterplan celebrates the site’s unique heritage as a racehorse stables and sales venue through adaptive reuse of the heritage buildings and, working with Arcadia Landscape Architects, creative interpretation of the existing landscape character.


Commercial 2019

Northbourne Avenue, Canberra

“A network of public spaces embed this site in the fabric of the city”

Guy Lake

Director, Bates Smart

In 2017 Bates Smart won a design competition to for an activated mixed-use precinct and a new campus-style workplace for the ACT Government at Dickson Interchange. The masterplan creates public spaces with layers of mixed-use activity and permeability as part of an 18-hour activation strategy of mixed-use active frontages, including retail tenancies, offices, and serviced apartments.

Bates Smart Director, Guy Lake, explains the team’s design approach: “We believe the external spaces are as important as the buildings themselves, we’ve created a series of linked spaces that enhance the civic quality of the precinct, while also giving areas for respite and recreation.”

The ACT Government offices are expressed as two volumes linked by an atrium; one ordered and orthogonal providing a civic presence to Northbourne Avenue, with the other being a softer, organic form that connects a new public piazza to Dickson Interchange. The result is an architectural form and facade expression reflective of its context, sympathetic of its urban and environmental setting and respectful of its historical framework.

The configuration of the internal spaces draws a link to the contextual orientation, facade pattern and relation to the public domain. Five levels of office space, a large childcare centre and business centre are visually connected by the central atrium which successfully creates a social heart combining coffee, people and work.

Guy says: “We have devised a workplace concept that places the idea of a connected community at the very heart. This new workplace forms a major cultural change program for the ACT Government. This aspiration requires a more connected workplace that offers spaces and places for the staff to come together to work jointly on a project, share ideas and socialise while maintaining zones for quiet, focused work.”

A thoughtful workplace strategy such as the one adopted by the ACT Government is a powerful tool for supporting employee performance and increasing engagement across the organization. In turn, the collateral benefit realised—that which typically supports productivity also enhances employee health and wellness, ensuring a resilient and energetic workforce. The project is due for completion in 2020.

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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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October-November 2015

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

A vision for our gardens

Bates Smart has been delighted to work alongside Professor Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens project steering committee to develop a positioning document to determine sites for possible future development at the Gardens.

While initially described as a building master plan, the document actually presents a number of alternate solutions to accommodate the Gardens' future requirements rather than a single proposal.

One of the key findings of the study is a recommendation that any new botanical developments should address the clarity of entry into the Gardens, ideally from both the Observatory site and the Yarra River in order to maintain the pristine landscape design of Guilfoyle and reinforce the underlying fabric of the Gardens.

In addition, a location for a much needed new Herbarium is proposed to house the scientifically significant botany collection started by Baron von Mueller in the nineteenth century and to provide an opportunity to celebrate botany with the public.

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