techne architects renovate the prahran hotel with concrete pipes techne architects renovate the prahran hotel with concrete pipes
apr 06, 2014

techne architects renovate the prahran hotel with concrete pipes

‘prahran hotel’ by techne architects, victoria, australia
image © peter clarke photography
all images courtesy of techne architects




melbourne-based techne architects were commissioned to renovate the ‘prahran hotel’ in westgate, a corner pub fitted with a classic art deco facade and a one-story extension at the back of the site. as the client called for the demolition of the single-level addition to be replaced by a more dramatic two story atrium space, the architects sought out a new approach to fulfill the client’s needs. the idea to use precast concrete pipes made sense on many levels: they possess a certain sculptural quality that brings a sense of image to the pub, they can be instrumental in naturally subdividing spaces into more intimate areas, and from the exterior could be recalled as a stack of kegs or barrels. opposite the tubes, a full-height steel and glass atrium cuts through the space to visually combine the various programs.  the timber plank-clad tubes now serve as more private tables while the atrium floor offers a more open flexible floor plan for larger groups and events. structural material was left exposed juxtaposing the warmth of the wooden highlights and the vibrancy of the green plants hung throughout the spaces.



seating areas
image © peter clarke photography



each tube is wrapped with timber planks and leather seats
image © peter clarke photography



light floods the space from the double-height atrium
image © peter clarke photography



plants enliven the interior contrasting the greys of the structure
image © peter clarke photography



upper level
image © peter clarke photography



half pipes used as seating elements
image © peter clarke photography



interior of a pipe
image © peter clarke photography



atrium floor
image © peter clarke photography



image © peter clarke photography



image © peter clarke photography



project info:



practice name: techne architects
photographer: peter clarke photography  
project name: prahran hotel
project completion date: may 2013
project type: hospitality (pub)
project address: 82 high street, windsor vic 3181
owner’s/client name: sand hill road                                                                                  
project team: justin northrop (project/design director), steve mckeag (project architect), alex lake (architect), melita kei (draftsperson), francois claassens (draftsperson), bianca baldi (interior designer)
design documentation (months): 12
construction (months): 8
project size: 550m²
builder: visual builders
structural engineer: parkhill freeman
project manager: n/a
lighting: light projects
esd: energylab
landscaping: ayus botanical
building surveyor: retro building surveyors
services engineer: brt consulting engineers
land surveyor: jca land consultants
geotechnical engineer: nsp geotechnics pty ltd
acoustic engineer: burton acoustic group

  • Love this! Bold concrete rawness + art-deco is a great attempt in capturing passer-by’s attention! Kudos!

    Mojo says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news