written by:
October 12, 2009

Aaron Britt, our intrepid editor abroad, shares the sights seen on the third day of his architectural sojourn to Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne Private Tours

My third day in Melbourne was actually the one in which I spent much of my time outside the city. I met up with Susan Healy of Melbourne Private Tours for a jaunt south to the lovely, rural wine country of the Mornington Peninsula. Our first order of business was to visit a house in a small town called Somers by architect Rowan Opat. I won't divulge too many of the details now, but suffice it to say, Rowan's work is wonderful and it was a lovely visit. Expect to see more on it soon.

From Somers we drove the 15 minutes or so to the Montalto Vinyards in Red Hill (above). The winery's tasting room and restaurant were all rustic timber and modern sophistication, making me wish desperately that the wine country of Napa and Sonoma near home weren't  so thoroughly indebted to Tuscan retreads and contextless chateaus. The meal was great, the pinot noir better and the weather finer still.

We also made a stop in to Ten Minutes by Tractor, another nearby winery where the Chardonnay Reserve carried the day.

Once back in Melbourne, it was late afternoon, and as Sunday traffic was a bit hairy, I decided to take a stroll around the Arts Precinct and Federation Square before heading off to dinner.

Federation Square in Melbourne Australia

Federation Square is a recent addition to the Melbourne landscape, a LAB Architecture–designed public space that has done a fair job of becoming one of the city's central hubs. Museums, cafes and a giant screen and stage that host concerts and show sporting events define the Libeskind-light design (I'm told he sat on the jury and was one of LAB's teachers), and though I can't say that I'm totally in love with all the buildings, I do love that Melbourne utterly went for it. A project of this scope, and in such a prominent location, could easily have gone from daring to beige under the scrutiny of town councils and meddling bureaucrats, but Fed Square's vision is strong and the execution solid. Melbourne set out to get some gutsy design, and that's just what it got. And though Fed Square has taken some flack for being an expensive eyesore, the throngs enjoying the live jazz and auto racing on a sunny Sunday looked happy enough to me.

Here's an interior of the Australian Center for the Moving Image at Fed Square.

Australian Center for the Moving Image at Federation Square

One more exterior shot. I call it "Urban Fractals with White Jeans."

Melbourne Recital Centre by Ashton Raggatt McDougall Architects

I think my favorite building I came across on my ramble was the Melbourne Recital Centre by Ashton Raggatt McDougall Architects. Its organic, honey-combed facade is sheer future, and RAM's Melbourne Theater Company building next door is another exercise in bisected facades and playful formalism. I really liked the pair of them. Here's the Theater.

Melbourne Recital Centre by Ashton Raggatt McDougall Architects

And the Recital Hall.

Melbourne Recital Hall

With a belly full of architecture I then met up with Jon Baxter of Tourism Victoria for what turned out to be an eight-course meal at the very design-savvy restaurant Pearl in the Richmond Precinct. Between the great local wine, beer and the fact that I'm presently eating duck several times per day, if I don't come home with acute gout I'll be shocked. Off to bed. More tomorrow.

 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
amaroso40040
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016