Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) HQ, Southbank
Beer Headquarters – Making beer and making friends
The brief: to create an environmentally sound reinvention of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) head office at Southbank to foster meaningful employee connections, engage the consumer and physically express the brand with authenticity.
In 2011 Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), one of the most iconic beer companies in Australia, became part of the SABMiller group, the second largest brewer in the world.
The time was right for a refurbishment of its 77 Southbank HQ, encompassing 15.000sqm and housing just under 800 employees. The aim was to create a tangible expression of being in ‘beer headquarters’ – an embodiment of the CUB brand on work floors and a ground floor hospitality space for an audience of both employees and customers.
At the time, changes in the broader Southbank precinct meant there were more office workers and visitors in circulation – a perfect time to create an engaging public space.
Inspiration was found through interviews and workshops with CUB staff, walk-though assessments of existing spaces at Southbank and Abbottsford, and an organisation-wide survey. Employees were looking for: quiet concentration spaces with visual and acoustic privacy; narratives and experiences that reflected CUB’s values and brand; breakout and café spaces to support a healthy lifestyle at work; and meeting spaces that encourage collaboration and better communication.
Designed in collaboration with Grey Puksand, the new spaces embody the core proposition that beer is the ultimate expression of mateship. e2 had explored the look and feel in a visual response session where a series of images were reviewed to quantify the aspirations for the physical environment in the context of the history of the brand and future business objectives.
Shared spaces with integrated displays communicate brand messages and values and the story of the beer making process has been brought to life through flexible event spaces allowing for a fluid expression of CUB, its brands and SABMiller. The final result is a space where heritage is recognised and embraced, whilst the company is positioned for future growth.