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Bates Smart designs Australia’s tallest engineered timber building

Bates Smart designs Australia’s tallest engineered timber building


Bates Smart has designed a high-performance commercial building which will be the tallest engineered timber building in the country.

To be built in the Brisbane Showgrounds development, the 52-metre-high tower will also hold the title for the largest gross floor area (GFA) for an engineered timber office building worldwide.

5 King utilises cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam), which combine to create the structural strength of concrete and steel with an additional low carbon footprint.

“We see timber buildings as the next generation of building for a creative class looking for rich environments that enhance wellbeing and productivity,” says Bates Smart Director Philip Vivian.

engineered timber-bates-smart

The timber construction recalls the vernacular ‘Queenslanders’ as well as relating to the historic RNA pavilions, to create a site-specific and innovative tall building that connects with nature.

The building’s ‘verandah’ will be an edge condition that maximises connection with the environment, while at ground level, a substantial 54-metre long timber colonnade lined with cafés and restaurants will cater to the need for creative workspaces outside of the office as well as establishing a welcoming entry to the building.

5 King_Podium engineered timber

The side core design offers generous 1,588 square metre net leaseable area (NLA) floorplates, with a total of 14,921 square metre (NLA) over 10 floors.

The glass façade on the main south elevation maximises natural daylight into the workplace, while sunshades on the other façades reduce energy consumption, further lowering the building’s carbon footprint.

Inside, exposed timber structure and services create a contemporary studio environment that balances well-being with creative collaboration space. The floorplates integrate a six-metre by eight-metre module grid of glulam columns and exposed ceilings with visual grade CLT cladding to the core. Exposed ‘K’ bracing on the floorplate perimeter provides additional structural support.

5-king-engineered timber

5 King will be targeting a Six Star Green Star Design and As Built v1.1 and a NABERS Energy Five Star rating. In addition to utilising sustainably sourced timber, the tower will integrate rainwater harvesting, energy efficient lighting and optimised air conditioning.

Parking for 152 bicycles and 56 cars is planned.

Construction is set to begin in mid-2017, with completed estimates at the end of 2018. The building forms part of the $2.9 billion Brisbane Showgrounds redevelopment in Fortitude Valley, 1.5 kilometres from Brisbane CBD.

Renders courtesy Bates Smart.


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