Just off the beaten track from the infinite hum of Chapel Street, it’s impossible not the notice the 85-odd tonnes of concrete infrastructure pipes stacked up along the new façade of the recently re-launched Prahran Hotel.
Designed by renowned architect firm, Techne, after first presenting two initial concept drawings to the owners, Sand Hill Road – one being a safe, achievable design and the other taking crazy to a whole new level – there’s no prize for guessing which design the owners chose for this iconic hotel’s new configuration.
Taking three semi-trailers, 11 days and 9 riggers to install, this oversized cylindrical motif has a dual purpose – providing a series of interesting dining configurations within the pipes themselves while also allowing passers-by to sneak a peek into what lies beyond the pub’s outer walls.
Once inside this concrete detailing is repeated in the custom concrete planter beds and bathrooms which have a beautiful brutalism about them, while a central steel-framed, huge glass atrium complete with a Chinese elm tree succeeds in bringing the outside in.
Elsewhere, the industrial feel has been reinforced in the 5 metre-long bar fashioned out of recycled plumbing pipes, while strategically placed wire-framed furniture, timber panelling and lush green foliage from the many vertical planters create a playful juxtaposition between the interior’s many elements.
The Prahran Hotel’s latest incarnation is a pleasure to explore, whether to quell your desire to eat inside a concrete half-pipe or just to whet your whistle after a hard day’s work, it’s definitely worth a visit.