Melbourne Cup Carnival marquees

The Birdcage marquees at the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival are carefully orchestrated interiors for the theatre of social exchange.

The Birdcage marquees at the annual Melbourne Cup Carnival are a design typology that is hard to define. On a functional level they are a branch of hospitality design. Marquees can be as genteel as a country club and as pumped-up as a nightclub – and sometimes the one marquee can be both, depending on the time of day you visit. These carefully orchestrated interiors for the theatre of social exchange are temporary, which also makes them a type of installation design. Like visual merchandizing or event styling, maximum effect and impact is privileged over longevity.

At the Loft marquee by emerging architectural design office Joyce + Made, a finely crafted interior sat behind a robust architectural grid. Layers of white-painted reinforcing mesh were used to create a three-dimensional frame structure that deepened the street edge and heightened the theatre of social exchange. Fragrant honeysuckle grew up through the steel cage and inside the marquee silver birch trees with crocheted root balls were suspended from above, floating in the space. Daylight was diffused through a ceiling of lime-washed timber beams that created a linear effect, which was further heightened by mirrored walls, columns and blocks of joinery. In a nod to the serious equestrian pursuits out on the track the custom-made plywood furniture was dressed and strapped with leather.

The client for the Loft, Corina Baldwin, has a knack for spotting emerging design talent. Her past collaborators on spring racing carnival marquees include Hecker, Phelan and Guthrie, March Studio and Herbert and Mason. This year her event management company, bttb, worked with Tarryn Joyce and Demie Manolas, the seemingly eponymous duo behind Joyce + Made. The Loft marquee and The Smith bar and restaurant in Windsor are among the practice’s first built works.

Gloss Creative’s Myer marquee.

Gloss Creative’s Myer marquee.

Image: Marcel Aucar

Marquee maven Amanda Henderson from Gloss Creative once again worked on a number of the carnival marquees – one possibly the most expansive and another perhaps the most petite of the 2011 marquees. The latter was for Fruche yoghurt. Here she adorned a simple timber pavilion with a ruched floral canopy. Fashioned from half a kilometre of fly wire, hundreds of flowers cascaded down from the ceiling, across the walls and out onto the balcony. The front-row Myer marquee was a lepidopterist’s dream. Conceived in conjunction with Emma Hofstede from Myer, this two-level party space kept the social butterflies in and the (notoriously fickle) Melbourne weather out. Operable Breezway glass louvres were used to create walls that protected Myer’s fashionable guests when it rained while still allowing the spring breeze to waft through. A kaleidoscope of laser-cut alloy butterflies adorned the facade and inside floated above, defining the marquee volume.

For both emerging and established designers a Melbourne Cup Carnival marquee is an enviable opportunity for design experimentation – however you define the project. But, seriously, who needs a definition when you have a glass of champagne in your hand?

The 2011 Melbourne Cup Carnival took place at Flemington Racecourse, 29 October and 1, 3 + 5 November 2011.
vrc.net.au

Credits

Design practice
Joyce + Made
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Consultants
Event management bttb
Site Details
Location 500 Epsom Road,  Flemington,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2011
Category Hospitality, Interiors
Client
Client name Corina Baldwin

Credits

Design practice
Gloss Creative
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Consultants
Design Emma Hofstede, Myer
Florals Jeff Leatham and Flowers Vasette
Site Details
Location 500 Epsom Road,  Flemington,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2011
Category Hospitality, Interiors
Client
Client name Myer

Credits

Design practice
Gloss Creative
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Site Details
Location 500 Epsom Road,  Flemington,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2011
Category Hospitality, Interiors

Source

Project

Published online: 6 Aug 2012
Words: Cameron Bruhn
Images: Dianna Snape, Marcel Aucar

Issue

Artichoke, March 2012

Related topics

More projects

See all
Built-in timber bookshelves that edge the living and dining room are accented by exposed chalk-toned brick. ‘A cascading series of salon spaces’: Garden House

Soft boundaries create multipurpose spaces that reflect a young couple’s character while generous windows connect interiors with “domesticated wilds” around this fluid, functional Melbourne home.

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Studio Talking Houses with Jesse Bennett: Planchonella House

In this Talking Houses video, Jesse Bennett and Anne Marie Campagnolo reflect on their remarkable first home together, Planchonella House.

The windows are double-framed, making the glazing blast-proof in the unlikely event of an explosion at the nearby port. A deceptively simple cafe in industrial Footscray: Gathered

Designed by Ewert Leaf, this pared-back and striking cafe in Melbourne’s Footscray belies a host of logistical and functional solutions to manage its portside setting.

The vast plaster ceiling features copiously repeated prismatic forms, housing lights that can be varied in colour and intensity. A good Melbourne citizen returns: The Capitol

After a major 1960s downscaling and a series of ad hoc renovations, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin’s Capitol Theatre has been re-engineered to …

Most read

Latest on site

Calendar