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Pipe dream: Prahran Hotel, Melbourne, Australia, by Techné Architects.

Photo credits: Peter Clarke.

Pipes, industrial ones at least, are usually thought of as purely functional, unless you are a 1970's skateboarder. But Techné Architects, in a creative leap that will attract attention for some time to come, have used a series of industrial pipes as the basis for an extension to an art-deco hotel.

The pipes are structural as well as decorative elements, and they naturally form a series of intimate rooms without cutting-off the rest of the bar space. They also provide an element of sun shade and thermal mass. This enables a glass façade to be used, giving a surprising level of transparency into the space as well as views out.

Other design features in the bar area, such as the exposed metalwork, conjure the tough industrial past that helped power the city. In this reconstituted form, it is fitting it will help power the city's reputation as an increasingly sophisticated kind of place.

Gratitude to Yatzer.


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