Bates Smart continues its experiment with mass timber construction with a 52-metre engineered timber office tower in Brisbane. 

The tower, named 5 King, will be the tallest engineered timber building in Australia and the largest in the world on gross floor area calculations.

It follows the firm’s proposal for a hybrid Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)/steel and concrete tower in North Sydney, and demonstrates its intention to use MTC technology into the future.

“We see timber buildings as the next generation of workplace,” says Bates Smart Director Philip Vivian.   

“For a creative class looking for rich environments that enhance wellbeing and productivity.”

The building forms part of the $2.9 billion Brisbane Showgrounds redevelopment in Fortitude Valley being developed by Lendlease and will be targeting a 6 Star Green Star Design, an As Built v1.1 and a NABERS Energy 5 Star rating.

A big part of achieving those ratings will come from the architect’s choice of sustainably sourced engineered timber, but it will also be helped by integrated rainwater harvesting, energy efficient lighting, optimised airconditioning and end of trip facilities for 152 bicycles.



5 King will be arranged in a side core fashion to maximise net leasable area (NLA) on each floorplate. Floors 1-10 will comprise 1,588sqm of NLA making a total of 14,921sqm NLA for the whole building.

Floors 1-9 will be constructed using a combination of CLT and Glulam, with the former used as the core structure and the latter for the floorplates which will be arranged in a six by eight metre modular grid.

Visual grade columns, ceilings, and K-bracing on floorplate perimeters will be left exposed to showcase the visual features of the construction material from within and outside the building.  

As is the case with Lendlease’s last commercial office building at Barangaroo Sydney, 5 King’s most exposed façade will feature a large glazed curtain wall from podium to roof height (forming a parapet) with spandrels at each floorplate.


5 King’s side core will be framed within in a building-height box and have L-shaped sun hoods on its façade for solar control.

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.


5 King is the latest addition to the $2.9 billion, 22 hectare Brisbane Showground redevelopment which when complete will be the largest brownfield development of its kind in Australia.

It will be situated across the road from the already complete Kingsgate building by Francis Jones Morehen Thorp which recently became Queensland’s first 6 Star Green Star As-Built commercial building.

Two residential apartment complexes, one each by Cox Rayner and Hayball, are also complete as is a new 208-room Rydges Hotel.

The entire project includes 340,000sqm of new residential, commercial and retail buildings, together with an additional 76,000sqm of new development.

Another building, ‘K2’ is on the way and will achieve a minimum 5 Star Green Star.