I love architecture that repurposes material and breathes new life into them. While shipping containers are the most popular for that style of work, Australian group Techné Architects are applying that creativity to drainage pipes! Prahran Hotel’s pub in Melbourne was renovated this year from a small back area into a playful and innovative hangout spot using more than 40 tons of concrete tubes to create the cool extended façade.

Techné Architects envisioned a space that was visually connected, interactive and dramatic – something we all could use to get over the pandemic and resume our social lives. The structure uses 17 1/2 culvert pipes on the facade and inside as well which are turned into intimate booths – in fact, one special pipe serves as a VIP booth for 10 people! The booths are finished with soft leather upholstery and lined with recycled spotted gum slats and acoustic absorption mats. The main bar is crafted from salvaged pipes and concrete cast lamps. Techné’s inclusion of sustainable elements don’t end there, they also used recycled pipes to create a colorful bar and planted a Chinese elm in the open, tiled courtyard to stay aligned with the original goal of making sure that the space is visually connected. “Inside you are climbing over the pipes, sitting in them, or on them at various levels. They have a lasting impact on the space,” says Architect Justin Northrop.

For a passerby, the stacked pipes will look like a wall of kegs (fitting given that it is a pub) and are closed with glass windows which allow for plenty of natural light and views. Guests can play around and find their favorite spot anywhere in the three levels of the hotel, there are several carefully designed cozy nooks and group seating options. You can also sit outdoors in the courtyard and admire the corrugated concrete wall, porthole windows, and beautiful wall hangings by Ayus Botanical. The daylight from the courtyard and from the large circular pipe windows fill up every corner and make it a welcoming space, unlike the typical dingy, dark pub. Crawling into a pipe never sounded better!

Designer: Techné Architects

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