Bates Smart to celebrate two key milestones in July

Bates Smart to celebrate two key milestones in July
Bates Smart to celebrate two key milestones in July

One of Australia's oldest architecture firms, Bates Smart is set to celebrate two key milestones in 2018 - the office's own 165th anniversary, and the 60th anniversary of the Bates Smart-designed former ICI House on Nicholson Street.

Coinciding with these milestones will be two key events unveiled by Open House Melbourne President and Bates Smart Studio Director, Tim Leslie. These include a guided tour of Orica House as part of the Open House 2018 and an exhibition entitled program and the ‘165 Years of Enduring Architecture’ exhibition within the building's ground floor gallery.

Tim Leslie founded Open House Melbourne in 2008, a not for profit event promoting architecture and buildings of significance to the public.

Tim joined Bates Smart in 2006 working across a broad range of sectors, after gaining experience as an architect in Australia and abroad over 20 years. In 2013 he became the Melbourne office's first Studio Director.

Notably, Tim was the director in charge for the competition-winning Australian Embassy in Washington DC which is currently in documentation. He has also been instrumental in many key projects, including 171 Collins Street and the neighbouring 161 Collins Street, residential towers at 13 and 35 Spring Street, and both Bendigo and Cabrini Hospitals.

Further details of both events are outlined below:

165 Years of Enduring Architecture Exhibition

Bates Smart to celebrate two key milestones in July
Bates Smart's 3D printed model. Image: Supplied

Dates: Wednesday 25 July 2018
Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Address: Bates Smart Gallery, Ground Floor, 1 Nicholson Street, Melbourne (entry via Albert Street)

Since its inception in 1853, Bates Smart has delivered projects that have transformed the city’s fabric, shaping the way people use and inhabit urban spaces and built environments.

Bates Smart Studio Director and Open House Melbourne President Tim Leslie is offering his insights into the history of the practice responsible for some of Melbourne’s most iconic cultural buildings that have contributed to the heritage and progression of Melbourne.

The catalogue of high calibre designs on display includes the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Town Hall, Wilson Hall at the University of Melbourne, ICI House, Collins Place, Crown Metropol, Royal Children’s Hospital, 171 Collins Street, Victoria Racing Club’s Club Stand and the upcoming Australian Embassy in Washington.

The exhibition will detail the history of Bates Smart and its evolution across a century led by its pioneering practice leaders – Joseph Reed, Francis and Charles Smart, Edward Bates and Osborn McCutcheon – that defined an era through their prolific designs and how its current Directors will continue this legacy well into the future.

Orica House Guided Tour:

Bates Smart to celebrate two key milestones in July
Orica House celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Image: Supplied

Dates: Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July 2018 (during Open House Melbourne’s long weekend)
Time: 10am to 4pm
Address: 1 Nicholson Street, Melbourne (entry via Albert Street)

The Bates Smart-designed Orica House (formerly ICI House) became upon completion,  Australia's first skyscraper. The glazed curtain wall tower set the precedent for modern vertical workplace design. Nearly 60 years later, this precedent still stands—ICI is a highly sought-after workplace due to its slim, flexible floor plates and classic design, outlasting many of its modernist counterparts and paving the way for the contemporary vertical campus.

The 19-storey tower, not formally part of the CBD’s Hoddle Grid, was allowed to break Melbourne’s 40m height restrictions. Instead of building a shorter tower over the entire area, the design team proposed a slimmer footprint that vertically stacked the additional allowable area, creating a taller tower and a ground level garden setting. The provision of the garden enabled the height rule to be broken while simultaneously creating a verdant public space at street level.

Internally, the Bates Smart team continued to revolutionise the tower workplace typology by pulling the services core to the side of the building, making the slender 18m floorplate effectively core-less and highly flexible. An open stair, located between the core and floorplate, created vertical connectivity. The continuous ribbon glazing of the curtain wall maximised views to the outside and enabled daylight to flood the interior.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

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Bates Smart Open House 2018 Orica House

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