Prahran Hotel by Techne Architects

Techne Architects is a dynamic and experienced commercial practice lead by two directors, Nicholas Travers and Justin Northrop, who are passionate about architecture. With a wide range of projects, commercial, hospitality and residential, their slogan is ” To make, Poetically“.

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Design Contract was fascinated about a few of their memorable projects. Today we will gladly present you one of our favorites: The re-design of the hotel builds on the original early 20th century Modern lines of the pub, revering in the established aesthetics and allowing them to infuse the layers of new additions. Inspiration came from the then futuristic notions of travel and discovery, with reference to the speed of new engineering, and the luxury of their associated leisure.

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While the original Art Deco–style building had good bones and just needed some minor renovations, the real challenge of the project involved re-imagining a 1970s single-story addition at its rear. The addition was poorly proportioned and inwardly focused, and because the client wanted the pub’s interior to have a stronger connection with the street, the design team called for a new, dramatic addition replacing the rear structure.

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The design of the Prahran’s interior is focused on drawing the streetscape inward. Its focal point is a three-story, steel-framed, glazed courtyard with a tree at its center and foliage cascading from porthole windows and niches. Greenery softens the otherwise raw material palette, including the unpainted concrete pipes, a corrugated precast concrete wall, exposed steel frames, and gray-toned ceramic tile floors that extend from the pub’s interior to the courtyard.

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Seating options include cozy leather-uphostered benches within the concrete pipes that penetrate the facade of the addition, as well as  more traditional bar-height tables. VIP booth seating occupies a half culvert pipe elevated by black steel posts.

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SEE ALSO: TreeHotel

 

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The concrete drainage pipes, which measure more than seven feet in diameter and nearly seven feet deep, were placed by a crane. Since there was no staging area other than the street, which could only be closed for short periods of time, the installation process was a slow one

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The Prahran Hotel is one of the most photographed, and recently served as the backdrop to a car advertisement. “The attention has really taken us by surprise,”

 

Source: Contract