ICI House Melbourne Offices, Commercial Building, Australian Architecture Design Images

ICI House Melbourne Office Building

Orica House Victoria, Skyscraper in Australia design by Bates Smart Architects

Design: Bates Smart Architects

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Featuring Hub Parliament Station

ICI House Melbourne office building Orica House Orica House Melbourne office building

14 Dec 2018

ICI House Melbourne

Bates Smart Unveils Designs For Hub Australia As Australia’s First Skyscraper Turns 60

Orica House Melbourne

ICI House, currently known as Orica House, considered Australia’s first skyscraper designed by Bates Smart is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month and will welcome Hub Australia as a new tenant in 2019.

ICI House Melbourne office building Orica House

Completed in 1958, the glazed curtain wall tower set the precedent for modern vertical workplace design and propelled Melbourne to become a modern city. The 19-storey tower, not formally part of the city’s Hoddle Grid, was the first building allowed to exceed Melbourne’s 40m height restrictions.1

ICI House Melbourne office building Orica House

Today, Orica House is still a highly sought-after workplace due to its slim, flexible floorplates and classic design. Bates Smart is now delivering a next generation workplace design for premium co-working operator Hub Australia in the building, showcasing its flexibility to accommodate contemporary ways of working 60 years on.

ICI House Melbourne office building Orica House

Bates Smart Director, Kellie Payne, said: “The design of ICI House was human centred – it thought through how people would work in the future and provided the ideal environment; even today it would be surpassing modern wellbeing criteria. The design focused on integrating the ground plane into landscaped courtyards with water features. All parts of the floor have great access to light and views, it has an open, interconnecting stair off the lobby and artwork is seamlessly integrated throughout the architecture. Not to mention the original occupants had a staff cafe, gym and roof terrace.”

ICI House Melbourne office building Orica House

Known as Hub Parliament Station, the design of the new coworking space is a seamless transition from base building design to fit out. For example, a custom glazed brick has been designed to reference the unique waffle slab which will be exposed as the ceiling finish.

Orica House Melbourne offices building

Totalling 2,700 square metres, it will accommodate 400-500 members and include café, integrated barista bar/hot desks, large serviced meeting rooms, private offices for teams 2 to 20 that can be open or screened, member’s kitchen and lounge, fitness centre, parent and wellness rooms and a media hub.

Orica House Melbourne offices building

Kellie Payne continues, “At 60 years old this building is ready to house the next evolution of work in having Hub, a co-working provider occupy the top three floors.”

Orica House Melbourne offices building

Hub Australia CEO and Founder, Brad Krauskopf, said: “We always look for unique buildings with a story and a history that our members can then weave into their own narrative. We were first drawn to Orica House because of its history, lobby and views and the floorplates are about as good as it gets. Side core and skinny long rectangle means there is not a bad seat in the house when it comes to natural light.

Orica House Melbourne offices building

“Hub Australia’s mission is to create a home for businesses to grow. It’s all about staff attraction and retention. Therefore, design is critical to making the space work for our customers and our business. The design brief was about creating an experience that fits the building, the location and the Hub Australia brand.”

Orica House Melbourne offices building

This year, Bates Smart celebrates its own 165th anniversary as an architecture and interior design practice with a number of commissions, including internationally awarded photographer Tom Roe’s series of the practice’s legacy projects that have contributed to the heritage and progression of Australian cities.

Hub Parliament Station Orica House Melbourne offices:
Hub Parliament Station Orica House Melbourne offices

Hub Parliament Station Orica House Melbourne offices
renderings courtesy of Bates Smart architects

Oral historian Lesley Alves interviews with former Bates Smart architects’ Struan Gilfillan and Bob Bruce on what it was like to work as an architect at the time of Sir Osborn McCutcheon and the completion of Orica House. Both were made partners in 1970 alongside Robert Dunster, making them the joint 17th partners since its founder Joseph Reed.

Hub Parliament Station Orica House Melbourne offices

Hub Parliament Station Orica House Melbourne offices
images courtesy of architects

Struan Gilfillan, Architect, Bates Smart (1957-1994) who worked on ICI House commented on the design and how it remains relevant for today. “ICI was a very clever building for the time. Curtain wall buildings using steel frames and cast-concrete were new to Melbourne and although common now, a separate wing for toilets and stairs was very unusual. It was ground breaking.”

Hub Parliament Stations expected to open in mid-2019.

Orica House Melbourne office building


1. Instead of building a shorter tower over the entire area, McCutcheon proposed a slimmer footprint that vertically stacked the additional allowable area, creating a taller tower and a ground level garden setting. The incorporation of the garden enabled the height rule to be broken while simultaneously creating a beautiful public space at street level.

Orica House Melbourne office building

Hub Parliament Station images : Bates Smart

ICI House photography : Tom Roe

Orica House Melbourne office building

Video featuring interview with Struan Gilfillan, Architect, Bates Smart (1957-1994):

ICI House, Melbourne from Bates Smart on Vimeo.

About Bates Smart

Bates Smart is a multidisciplinary design firm delivering architecture, interior design, urban design and strategic services across Australia. With a staff of more than 300 people across Melbourne and Sydney, Bates Smart take an integrated approach to interior and architectural design to create solutions that are enduring and improve the quality of daily life.

Orica House Melbourne offices building Orica House Melbourne offices building

Over the course of its 165-year history, this approach has yielded many award-winning projects that shape the city fabric and the way people work, meet, live, learn and heal. Work includes the design of the new Australian Embassy in Washington, Constitution Place in Canberra, 25 King – Australia’s tallest engineered timber building in Brisbane, Collins House – the slimmest tower in Melbourne and the Victoria Racing Club’s Club Stand in Melbourne. www.batessmart.com

ICI House Melbourne office building Orica House

About Hub Australia

Hub Australia is a coworking community for growing business, providing premium workspaces, business networks and member services. Pioneering coworking in Australia when it opened its first location in 2011 in Melbourne, Hub Australia, has led the local coworking evolution and now has multiple spaces in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Hub Australia’s coworking spaces include a variety of flexible workspace solutions located in unique buildings, with premium amenity such as in-house cafes, gyms, end-of-trip facilities, boardrooms and meeting spaces.www.hubaustralia.com

ICI House Melbourne Office Building: Orica House images / information received 111218

Location: Orica House, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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