Located north of Hobart on the Derwent River, Moorilla Estate vineyards has been synonymous with the arts, music and architecture since the 1950s — a cultural association broadened and strengthened over the last decade to include a restaurant, microbrewery and on-site lodging in the form of four pavilions.
With demand for accommodation expected to surge as a result of MONA – the site’s then newly-opened Museum of Old and New Art – the practice was commissioned to develop a further four pavilions, plus a guest amenity building housing a lap pool, sauna and gym.
True to the prevailing unorthodoxy of MONA, the new structures were designed not just in counterpoint to the existing, but also in contradiction to the concept of privacy that traditionally informs accommodation of this type.
Whereas the existing pavilions nestle into the leafy seclusion of the riverbank edge, with their conservative architectural sensibility, our quartet stands proud: sculptural iconoclasts of metal and glass, brazenly exposed and exposing to the landscape – and each other.
Two are identical in design, with a bold diamond-shaped steel frame forming a voluminous living space atrium, and a weathered timber-clad box slipping inside the rear of the frame, with its bedroom space and bathroom. A familial third design incorporates a mezzanine bedroom into this diamond void.
The tri-level fourth pavilion establishes a masterfully individual, yet entirely complementary presence, the warped planes of its elusive aluminium-skinned exterior grounded by off-form concrete blades. Amidst its mesh of encircling native plantings, a motion-activated Wunderkammer reveals a panoply of MONA collection curiosities to passers-by.
Inside, each pavilion assumes a decidedly unique persona. An outcome achieved as much through curatorial eccentricity of incorporated sculpture, projection, video art and collage, as the strategic selection or commission of furnishings.