The Carlton and United Breweries Malt Store is a heritage industrial building with a spectacular redbrick façade and Romanesque features. It was designed by HV&A Champion in 1904.
The building was abandoned in 1987 and lay derelict until ARM Architecture and Lovell Chen adapted it for retail and office space.
Originally, the Malt Store was a storage facility containing 21 massive concrete malt tanks built by Sir John Monash. There was no space to walk between them. After thoughtful negotiations with Heritage Victoria we retained three tanks. Two are fitted out as meeting rooms, the third kept in its original state.
Because of its original usage, the building had no real interior: it was a shell with a façade and a multiple-gabled roof. We retained the façade and the heritage steel and oregon structure, rather than replacing it with concrete. We converted the historic carriageway, originally for deliveries via horse-drawn malt trucks, into a thoroughfare and a museum space. It has interpretable graphic wall displays dedicated to the building’s previous life, designed by Look Ear.
We have not attempted to replicate what was lost, but to acknowledge the building’s historical and cultural significance and create an interior (three floors plus mezzanine) befitting the existing fabric. Originally, there was a catwalk above the tanks where grain was fed in and supervisors observed operations. We extended the catwalk, creating a mezzanine floor with intriguing lookouts protruding over the office floor below.
The central bay of the building, once a loading dock and weighbridge, now forms the main entrance to the Barak Building, also designed by ARM Architecture. The upper level offices have a character defined by the building’s original features, including impressive timber structural work. Our design keeps much of the industrial feel of the building, including the ever-present multiple roof gables.
Sustainability features include our adaptive re-use of an existing building, mixed-mode ventilation, high-performance glazing, occupancy control lighting, low water-use fixtures, FSC-certified new timber, and zero- and low-VOC finishes.