It is hard not to notice the iconic Prahran Hotel, dominating the street facade in this bustling cultural suburb of Melbourne. Standing boldly on High Street, the venue brags a recent transformation by Techne Architects from a small 1940s deco pub into a voyeuristic playground.
The star of the design is a series of 17 concrete waterpipes, stacked for a clever, innovative and unique place to wine and dine. Set over three levels, the extension adds drama to the hotel’s exterior whilst maintaining the character of the original inner city pub.
The construction took two years in the making and believe me, it was worth the wait. Inside you are literally climbing over the pipes or dining in them for an incredible lunch or dinner experience. The booths seat up to 12 and feature leather upholstered banquettes lined with recycled spotted gum slats and acoustic absorption mats.
The left of field design ideas add personality and a luxe surprise element throughout the entire hotel. The main bar features salvaged pipes, concrete cast lamps and plants by Ayus Botanical. Centered around a grand Chinese Elm Tree, the courtyard features a striking nine metre trapezoidal concrete wall with a corrugated effect and porthole motifs. The ground floor mixes polychromatic texture tiles and spotted gum floorboards whilst the bannisters throughout are covered in leather.
Definitely not a simple gastropub, the Prahran Hotel has a menu to match its outstanding interiors and design. The signature conviviality of the Sand Hill Road hotel group echoes throughout the venue, making it top of my list to visit when next in Melbourne.