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Maton Guitars is Australia’s premier guitar manufacturer. With Maton’s continued growth, the Kitchen family approached Dig Design to help them accommodate a new state of the art manufacturing facility, administration wing and showroom within an existing chemical storage facility built in the 1920s. This move, whilst meeting the pragmatic requirements of an expanding business, presented Maton with the opportunity to celebrate their success and symbolically project their future.
Working with Maton Guitars on the brief, we wanted to capture the delicate mix of traditional methods and new technologies that are involved in the craft of guitar making and to share with their clientele the deep history of quality and innovation that has seen Maton achieve success on the national and international marketplace. Central to our design response would be the journey through the building, taking in and celebrating Maton’s past, present and future.
The administration area and showroom was the focus of the refurbishment and would take what was previously a warren of confused spaces and unveil a series of simple elegant spaces and forms that highlight the guitar as a beautiful object without overshadowing it.
Upon entering the space you are first met by the reception desk. An impressive white box that floats above the floor, the form is boldly sliced to reveal its timber inner, with the curved profile of the slice having an immediate reference of the body of the guitar without overstating.
The reception, boardroom and waiting areas are read as one gallery space. Acting as a backdrop to these spaces are the polycarbonate display walls. Finishing short of the ceiling the walls are read as a volume within the space rather than a dividing object and the clientele are encouraged to meander through the spaces around them. The wall is lit from within and has a translucent quality, which creates a larger sense of space, people are stimulated to see what is beyond the wall, and discover more.
Crossing a timber threshold in the recycled tyre flooring you enter the showroom, a large space displaying new products and merchandise. There is a significant difference in the treatment of the guitar in this area, where in the gallery the guitars are objectified and protected in individual display cases, in the showroom the guitars are openly displayed along the walls, with clients encouraged to take them down and play.
From the showroom you can experience the craft of guitar making as you stand in front of full height glazing overlooking the factory floor. Research and development is also accessed from the showroom and is symbolic in its location in the journey through Maton.
Frances Van Kaathoven
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