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Can a cozy traditional pub turn into a designer venue without losing its genuine feel? The answer is yes, as proved by today's featured project, Melbourne's Prahran Hotel. Formerly a corner pub with a one storey unproportioned space arrangement, in 2013 it was renovated and enlarged to 550 square meters by Australian architecture Techne Architects studio. The venue was turned into a two storey pub with a inner central courtyard and a dramatic art deco façade, located just beside the original one. The new, iconic façade features glass walls and large stacked concrete pipes recalling stacked kegs as well as the circular recurring motif display inside the facility.

Imposing and characterized by a bold sculptural quality, the new façade reveals the restaurant area, creating a pleasant contrast amid the industrial palette of concrete and steel on the one hand, and, on the other, the warm color of leather seats as well as the natural green touch of the plants scattered all over the place. Showered with natural light thanks to the massive glass walls as well as the openness of the courtyard that links the two levels, the pub represents a unique play of opposites, both in terms of materials and atmosphere, as the "dramatic" feel on the outside is balanced by the sense of intimacy on the inside. Thanks to the new spatial arrangement, the pub today features both social and private areas, in a visual continuum that connects the new and old parts of the venue through the circulation loops.

INFO: www.techne.com.au

PHOTO COURTESY: Peter Clarke Photography

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