Rubarto Building

Building details

The Rubarto building is a classic old two-storey orange-brick factory in Brunswick, surrounded by new apartment buildings and the odd fruit & veg wholesaler. It’s had many previous lives – most recently as artist studios / party venue. The building had solid bones but was in need of some serious TLC.

Upgrade details

  • New Colorbond roof & insulation
  • Solar panels (15kW)
  • Double-glazed windows throughout
  • Internal stairwell airlocks: dual wall polycarbonate structures to encase and airlock the two internal staircases – to prevent heat escaping in winter, and cool air escaping in summer
  • Two-way ceiling fans: provide cooling in summer and then reversing the airflow in winter to circulate warm air

The Challenge

The owners wanted to transform the building into two new venues:

Tempo Rubato: a new live music bar and performance venue linked to the Piano Project, a Melbourne based charity sponsoring piano lessons for children who are new immigrants.

Rubato Upstairs: a boutique co-working space catering to creative people and businesses in Melbourne’s inner north.

They were also committed to making the building is as environmentally friendly as possible in its new chapter.

“We think it’s really important to future-proof the building, thinking about our own contribution to sustainability. Everyone has a part to play” – Duncan Imberger, Rubarto Upstairs

The Project

An Environmental Upgrade Finance agreement between the owners, Moreland City Council and Sustainable Australia Fund covered the costs of the upgrade works, to be paid off via a long term, low interest loan with the repayments collected by Council’s rates team.

“Environmental Upgrade Finance helps local businesses free up cash flow by locking in competitive long-term rates for sustainable building materials and renewable energy sources. It’s so exciting to see Moreland businesses leading the way.” – Moreland Councillor Jess Dorney