Maben Head Office


Through the combined effort of its new occupants; a construction company and an architecture studio; this 1970’s office block has been given a new life. Located in North Melbourne, and hidden under a layer of custard- coloured render for several decades, the Brutalist materiality was revealed after 8 weeks of painstaking labour chipping off the suffocating crust.

The decision to invest in this formerly unloved building has provided an alternative to its likely demolition. Retaining the shell and reusing parts of the original fit-out, the challenge was to create a non-corporate environment that would evoke a sense of authenticity and capability.

Critical to both organisations is the effect that the work environment has on those who use it. It responds firstly to the needs of the staff, engendering a healthy office culture.

Secondly, the space presents a considered representation of the two businesses that befits a variety of clients and visitors.

While rarely collaborating professionally, these two businesses shared a previous office space and were keen to retain and enhance a sense of community. At this workplace entries and offices are separate, while generous shared amenities including kitchen, breakout space and large deck benefit both organisations professionally, socially, and spatially.