99 Walker St, North Sydney

The drive to reach to the sky, in office development, was a large part of the focus of Rod Davis’s work during the office building booms of the past. During this period, many innovative office design features were introduced, with for example, Australia’s first, flush silicon glazed, curtain wall being introduced. The very first such flush glazed curtain wall was used by Davis in Sydney’s Chatswood. And in the construction field, Davis pioneered a form of self jacking, scaffold screens, (a version of which is in common practice these days), on tower construction in North Sydney.

99 Walker szt

Davis has acted as both the builder’s

project manager, as well as the developer’s project manager, in delivery of many office blocks. This experience involved the inevitable rough interface with an  99. Walker Street, North Sydneyat times difficult union sector, and old affable

sparring partners from the heady days of the former BLF and BWIU unions now head the super union, CMFEU. Davis maintained a friendly working relationships with all sides of politics in the often difficult construction business, and has both surprised and annoyed competing developers,

when a humanist approach to industrial relations often resulted in Davis’s projects proceeding, whilst neighbouring projects were locked down, on strike, or under a work ban.

In the late 80’s Davis was invited to the board of one of Australia’s most prolific builder developers, Girvan. Leaving Girvan suggesting concerns that 3 years later later defined Girvan’s demise, Davis worked for the publically listed Corporate Equities, on range of CBD towers, and other commercial construction, before leaving and consulting back to the group, and/or its early clients, such Miltonbrook and his partner, Mike Willesse. With Girvan’s inexperience with highrise, and with little or no suitable Girvan equipment available at the time, this project required Davis to do the estimating, hire nearly all the staff, buy the tower crane and, the consultants, and still get building, before even the first floors were designed. It was a high pressure project, during heady times, with an great eventual outcome.

Several large office fitout projects were amongst Davis’s commissions, including the relocation, across 5 floors, of the employer group MTIA, where the project ran on a 24hour/day cycle. Advertising agency Young and Rubicam used Rod Davis and colleague Adrian Carroll to negotiate and new and sizable tenancy for its many sub-companies, going on to develop the designs, and deliver a multi-million dollar office fitout, and at a price to Y&R that was indeed tiny, after the subsidies that Davis/Carroll’s had won, were factored in. Big advertising agencies has pretty demanding ‘corporate look’ demands.

Partnerships with the once powerful Japanese interests saw many hectares of office floor space, developed in CBD Sydney, and it kept us busy. All the photos on this page were design managed and built by Davis.