In 2012 March Studio won an invited competition to extend the Vineyard in
St Kilda. The Vineyard is a Melbourne institution, so the brief called for vast new areas and experiences but without compromising the original heritage listed building or alienating their original, faithful punters.
Our winning design was to restore the existing boatshed-turned-restaurant/bar, and to embrace the eclectic diversity of the punters and the area. The existing bar is extended and pushed out onto Shakespeare Grove, where a new public interface with the street is enabled. The existing west-facing beer garden remains, but is made more permanent with stacked concrete planters. Facing Luna Park, a new restaurant faces the gardens while upstairs, a 120-seat rooftop bar celebrates views over and beyond to Port Phillip Bay – the perfect place for a relaxed Sunday session.
We incorporated St. Kilda’s most ubiquitous behavioural pattern into the design, namely ‘watch and be watched’. We achieved this by extending the façade the length of the building and turning the entire perimeter into a usable area. The zig-zag façade, almost fractal like, also references the impressive palm trees of the neighbouring O’Donnell gardens.
The entire building is constructed from concrete and stacked timber salvaged from the station street pier, connecting further to the locale. Moments of the design reference the nautical heritage of the site, while the floating roof for the roof top garden picks up similar geometry and expression to the crown of Mr Moon, the face of Luna Park right next door.