Press Release:
Architects Bates Smart design Australia’s tallest engineered timber building

5 King is a high performance commercial building and the tallest engineered timber building in Australia. The 52 metre* high tower in the Brisbane Showgrounds development will also hold the title for the largest gross floor area (GFA) for an engineered timber office building worldwide. Designed by Bates Smart for Lendlease, 5 King is at the leading edge of contemporary workplace thinking.

In blending tradition with innovation, Bates Smart have designed a building that addresses our fundamental need to connect to nature and preserve the environment. 5 King utilises cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (Glulam), together they combine the structural strength of concrete and steel with a low carbon footprint.

Bates Smart Director, Philip Vivian, said “We see timber buildings as the next generation of workplace for a creative class looking for rich environments that enhance wellbeing and productivity. 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 buildings ‘verandah’ will be an edge condition that maximizes connection with the environment.”

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At ground level, a substantial 54 metre long timber colonnade lined with cafes and restaurants will cater to the need for creative workspaces outside of the office while establishing a welcoming entry to the building. 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 facades reduce energy consumption; further reducing the buildings 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 underpinning the honest expression of the structure. Exposed ‘K’ bracing on the floorplate perimeter provides additional structural support.

The building will be the future home of global engineering firm Aurecon. In addition to providing structural and building consultancy services, the company has committed to lease four of the nine office floors.

5 King will be targeting a 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built v1.1 and a NABERS Energy 5 Star rating. In addition to utilising sustainably sourced timber, the tower will integrate rainwater harvesting, energy efficient lighting and optimized airconditioning. Premium end of trip facilities for 152 bicycles and parking for 56 cars is planned.
5 King, has been acquired by leading Australian Impact Investment Fund Manager, Impact Investment Group (IIG). Planning approval for 5 King was achieved in November 2016. Construction begins mid 2017, the building is due to be completed 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.



High-res renders can be downloaded from the following link:


For further details and interview requests: Caro Communications: 00 61 (0)413515090; 00 44 (0)20 7713 9388 @carocomms

Bobby Jewell |
Dominique Broomfield |

Technical Notes:

* Levels 1-9 are CLT/Glulam construction, reaching 45 metres, with a lightweight steel construction on level 10, giving a total height of 52 metres.
**RNA Historical information
Founded in 1875 the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) is a member based organisation which owns and operates Brisbane Showgrounds.

About Bates Smart

Founded in 1853, Bates Smart possess a strong legacy of innovation in commercial architecture. As architects for MLC Insurance in the 1950s, Bates Smart designed the tallest commercial towers across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. These lightweight structures were cutting-edge projects, leading the way for modernism in Australia. A number of buildings remain today, including Orica House, home to Bates Smart’s Melbourne studio and 105 Miller Street, North Sydney, which was completed 60 years ago in 1957.

Today Bates Smart is a multidisciplinary design firm delivering architecture, interior design and urban design across Australia, with a staff of over 250 in studios in Melbourne and Sydney. Our award-winning projects transform the city fabric and the way people use and inhabit urban spaces and built environments. Bates Smart’s founders were the innovators of their time, and the practice now leads the debate on how and where we work, meet, live and learn.

About Lendlease

Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and with circa 12,000 employees worldwide, Lendlease’s capabilities span the property value chain.

In Australia we offer development management; investment management; project management & construction and asset & property management. Our expertise covers multiple sectors including commercial, residential, retail, retirement and infrastructure.

About Impact Investment Group

IIG is a leading impact investment funds manager and co-investor with over $400 million in funds under management across property, renewable energy infrastructure and venture capital. IIG’s mission is to shift capital towards investments that blend financial returns with deep social and environmental impact. Since establishment in early 2013, IIG has successfully arranged and co-invested in 15 investment syndicates.

IIG is owned by Chris Lock (Chief Executive Officer) and Small Giants, the family office of Daniel Almagor and Berry Liberman. IIG is an active and ethical manager that benchmarks its fees to the long term performance of its assets.

IIG is a certified B Corporation and a member of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

About Aurecon

Aurecon is a global engineering and infrastructure advisory company which brings ideas to life to design a better future. Aurecon has an office network spanning over 20 countries and over 7,000 people, with a net revenue of AU $1bn dollars. Privately owned by employees, Aurecon provides advisory, design, delivery and asset management services on projects on a range of markets in locations worldwide