5 King: Australia’s timber crowning glory

Photo credit: Bates Smart

The tallest engineered timber building in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 5 King is also a high-performance commercial structure. Constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (glulam), the building boasts the same strength concrete and steel provide, but offer a twist with its low carbon footprint. Situated one and a half miles away from Brisbane’s city centre, the structure sits in the AUD$2.9 billion (US$2.19 billion) Brisbane Showgrounds in Fortitude Valley.

A large timber portico 54 metres long that soars up two stories is lined by numerous cafes and restaurants are specially geared toward providing creative work spaces beyond the confines of the office while also presenting a warm, welcoming entrance to the building. The exposed timber structure in the interior mixes six by eight metre module grids made of glulam pillars and high-grade CLT claddings – reflecting a desire for honesty – gives the studio environment a contemporary feel and balances a person’s well-being with the offered creative space. ‘K’ braces left out in the open offer more structural support. Natural sunlight is allowed into the building on the south side through a glass façade, but at the same time, energy consumption is reduced by the sunshades present on the remaining façades, and further lowering the structure’s carbon footprint.

Photo credit: Bates Smart

Philip Vivian, Director of Bates Smart said, “We see timber buildings providing the next generation of workplace for a creative class looking for rich environments that enhance well-being 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 building’s ‘veranda’ edge condition maximises connection with the natural environment.”

5 King will be Aurecon’s base in the future, with the organisation having leased four of the nine stories in the building. The coming generation of creative workplaces have a larger association and emphasis on productivity and well-being, and thus connecting more to the natural world through increased use of vital natural materials like timber are one of the main elements of this new mindset.

Photo credit: Bates Smart

Aiming for a As Built v1.1 and a NABERS Energy 5 Star rating as well as a 6 star Green Star Design, 5 King has sourced sustainable timber for its construction, and will also combine energy efficient lighting and air-conditioning with the harvesting of rainwater. Spaces for parking up to 56 cars and 152 bicycles are also part of the building plan.

Construction is due to start in mid-2017, and will likely be completed by the end 2018.


Client: Lendlease
Area: 14, 921 sqm


Source: Bates Smart