Scenic is a privately owned business which operates luxury cruises and tours around the globe. It commenced business in Newcastle in 1986, operating coach tours to various Australian destinations.

From this humble beginning, Scenic has grown to become a world-renowned operator and a leader in its field, but its head office remains in Newcastle. Scenic had been looking to move from rented to owned premises for quite some time, and  Graph assisted Scenic in the evaluation of a number of sites over the years. Graph was involved with the new award winning head office at 25 Watt Street from pre-acquisition through to commissioning and occupation of the new premises.

At the time of acquisition, the existing building comprised a late 1960’s reinforced concrete structure, clad with heavy and unattractive precast, glazed panels, and it was smaller than required to accommodate the long-term needs of Scenic. Graph introduced the design team to Scenic, and a proposal was jointly developed to totally gut the existing building back to the concrete structure, “load shed” by removing the precast cladding, and add two floors to the building, without altering the foundation system, and without providing additional car parking. Graph was intimately involved in developing the design, and in pursuing development consent (for a larger building with no additional car parking) for the project.

Graph then undertook the construction of the project, which included a fitout of exceptionally high quality.  The work involved all new services and new amenities. Joinery and other finishes are to the highest standards, as be fits the position of Scenic in the travel industry, and the finished product would not be out of place in any major city in the western world.

The challenges during construction included the usual issues of CBD building, with noise management being especially significant given the nature of the adjoining buildings, which contained occupied offices. A number of design/selection changes made it difficult to meet the overall program, which was particularly significant as the work needed to be completed by a deadline, due to the expiry of the lease for the building which Scenic was occupying. Some aspects of the fitout could not be completed by the deadline, but Scenic and Graph continued with extraordinary levels of co-operation to complete the fitout.

The building won the 2017 MBA Excellence in Building Award for Extensions, Renovations and Refurbishments $5m to $10.

Scenic Head Office

25 Watt Street, Newcastle

Partial demolition of existing four-storey office building (retaining only concrete structure), the addition of two extra floors and the re-development of the site (including office fitout) to exceptionally high standards.


EJE Architecture, Newcastle

Completion Date:
July 2016

$9.8m (excluding GST)