Winner of the 2021 Master Builders Excellence in Construction Awards Excellence in Construction of Commercial Buildings $3M – $5M category.

Winner of the 2021 Master Builders Australia Excellence in Building and Construction – National Commercial / Industrial Construction Awards – $5M to $10M category.

Melbourne Grammar School engaged Maben Group under a Construct Only contract, to deliver its Music School redevelopment project. Our scope involved the extensive refurbishment and upgrade of two heritage buildings and the construction of a new basement and “link” building between them.

The circa 1960 Myer Music building refurbishment involved the reconfiguration of ground floor music practice rooms, new internal linings to achieve a high level of acoustic attenuation and the establishment of a recording & music studio on level 1.

The second of the two existing heritage buildings, Bromby House, was erected in 1865. Our scope within this building involved the partial demolition and extensive refurbishment of interiors including sub framing and flooring, ceilings, significant thermal and acoustic improvements to create Music Tutorial Rooms on the ground floor & level 1.

Both existing buildings underwent significant structural remediation works and all existing services were removed and replaced as new.

The construction of the new Link building required extensive site excavation on a tight site, to create the two new basement level music studios. The excavation works involved a bored pier retention design – a unique challenge due to their proximity to the adjoining heritage buildings. Temporary bracing was spanned between capping beams and installed as part of the construction sequence to limit any soil settlement and consequential movement to adjacent buildings when excavating the new basement. This bracing was then able to be cut and removed upon completion of the new suspended slab and the sacrificial structural steel then lifted out through the new stair void.

Site constraints and lack of useable free space on site posed the most significant programming and logistical challenge for our team. All site deliveries and material handling processes required careful planning and scheduling of critical elements.

This was managed daily by our site team via consultation with key stakeholders including City of Melbourne, MGS facilities team and adjacent residents. Traffic management plans were developed specific to the project’s requirements which were later implemented throughout the project.

Despite the challenging nature of the site and COVID-19 disruptions, a very high level of finish was achieved. Maben Group developed an excellent relationship with the client throughout the project and collaborated closely with the consultants and the school on all critical aspects of the project to deliver solutions aligning with the school’s expectations for end-use and sustainability goals.

Maben commenced construction in November 2019 and completed the project in February 2021.

Photography by John Gollings.