Tall Timber X 2: Towers in Brisbane and Melbourne

Basil Richardson
Studio Director
Bates Smart, Sydney

This presentation explores two very different projects that showcase the flexibility of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) beyond the known benefits. Fueled by faster build times, efficient construction techniques, and a streamlined workforce, CLT and Glulam structure raise the bar in efficient construction. Two buildings in Brisbane and in Melbourne are using the inherent qualities of timber to build on a large scale but are doing so for different reasons.

In Brisbane, 25 King showcases the potential of a timber structure to create a warm and inviting office environment while leaving the building structure exposed. Constructed from CLT slabs and Glulam beams, the timber becomes the dominant feature of the office space, and when complete, the timber elements will be a highlight of the building design.

In Melbourne, 55 Southbank Boulevard reaches new heights by adding a CLT structure on top of an existing low-rise commercial office building to capitalize on the potential of the site. By using a lightweight structure, additional floors are able to be built on top of the existing concrete structure without requiring significant upgrades to the concrete base. As a result, a much larger building is able to be built on an otherwise constrained site. An analysis of these two projects explores the background of why timber was selected as the structure and how this has ultimately benefited the design and delivery of the project.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation