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Building blocks: Make Ventures HQ by Tecture

Tecture has used humble and hardy breeze blocks and plywood to create a fresh, youthful interior with subtle references to Make Ventures’ brand identity.

Breeze blocks and plywood are two building blocks of classic Australian architecture. But while the humble and hardy materials have long been used for utilitarian purposes, in recent years they have come to be utilised for an array of other reasons. Breeze blocks for natural light, openness and visual connection, and plywood for warmth, tactility and its acoustic qualities.

At Make Ventures’ new workspace, Tecture has used breeze blocks and plywood to create a fresh, youthful interior with subtle references to the company’s brand identity.

Make Ventures HQ designed by Tecture | Indesignlive

Make Ventures is a Melbourne property development and investment company that specialises in urban-infill, mixed-use projects, such as health, aged care, employment and accommodation, that contribute positively to communities.

“Make Ventures’ provided a minimal and open brief of ‘brick, plants and ply,’ which became the DNA of the design,” Tecture Director Ben Robertson and Interior Designer Lauren Foy explain. “It exploits construction materials outside their traditional use and celebrates Make’s business as a developer of construction projects.”

Meeting room at Make Ventures HQ designed by Tecture | Indesignlive

Breeze blocks have blown in and out of fashion over the decades. The geometric pattern of the masonry adds a decorative dimension to architecture, as well as providing privacy, protection and a feeling of openness. Plywood was also once considered cheap and unattractive but has come to take centre stage thanks to its warmth, texture and natural colour.

The workplace is located at street level on a main thoroughfare in Windsor, Melbourne, and it incorporates 10 workstations, reception and formal and informal meeting areas. Breeze block walls divide meetings areas from workstations, obscure views from outside and facilitate light and visual connection throughout. The blockwork is configured as a reconstructed image of the Make logo – a cross inside a quartered circle – by stacking breeze blocks with their ends or sides visible.

A minimalist office: Make Ventures HQ designed by Tecture | Indesignlive

The cross is also used for the handles on the plywood credenzas. Plywood panels bring warmth, natural colour and acoustic properties to the workspace, lining the rear walls and wrapping custom joinery that provides storage and aids privacy at the ends of each workstation. Each joinery unit also has a planter box on top for greenery. Tecture retained the pink granite floors of the existing building and custom designed the formal meeting table that also has the Make logo embedded in the natural stone break up.

Make Ventures’ HQ demonstrates Tecture’s approach to design, which is characterised by geometric simplicity and uses economic materials with high-end elements to create striking, affordable design.

To see another office with a contemporary vibe, check out Candlefox HQ by Tom Robertson Architecture.

Photography by Shannon McGrath.

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Full dissections for this project can be seen here.

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