Tempo Rubato /
Adapt & Renovate, Commercial
Tempo Rubato is a live classical music venue and bar in Brunswick inserted within the ground floor of a 1960’s brick warehouse. It is a unique initiative making a vital cultural contribution to the emerging urbanity of this pocket of Brunswick. It also operates as a not-for-profit social enterprise which funnels all profits into a venture called The Piano Project that provides piano lessons to refugee and under-privileged children. Since launching in June 2019, Tempo Rubato has become a significant gathering place for both the local community as well as the legion of music lovers dispersed throughout Melbourne.
Polystudio designed a minimal fit-out to suit a very low budget with scope for incremental alterations and additions over time to suit the evolving use of the space. The key design interventions structure the experience of the space without fundamentally changing its nature. The main built element is a white cube that houses amenities and services, dividing the front of house bar and entry area from the performance space. A translucent polycarbonate wall separates the entry to the first floor co-share office tenancy whilst preserving the animating presence of the original steel and concrete staircase from within the bar and entry. A differentiated lighting layout comprising different light types and orientations demarcates the various zones within an otherwise open floorplate.
Sustainability is at the core of the vision for Tempo Rubato. It is an exemplar of a socially sustainable initiative that enhances the well-being of the local community by providing a forum for interaction and the enjoyment of classical music. However, in addition, it doubles the social benefit of this activity by channelling the profits into a social investment in under-privileged children. The adaptive re-use of an existing building preserved the embodied energy already contained within the building shell. The energy efficiency of the building was also upgraded as part of the project including the replacement of asbestos roofing with a new insulated metal deck roof, the replacement of all existing windows with double glazing and the installation of a solar PV system.
photos: Georgina Imberger, Blacknote Photography