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Melbourne Innovators

/ 01 Nov 2018
Melbourne is synonymous with innovation. Check out some of the city’s most exciting experiences.

Innovative Architecture

Visitors to MPavilion 2018 can set their sights on an innovative piece of architecture designed by esteemed Barcelona-based architect and educator Carme Pinós of Estudio Carme Pinós. Known for her architectural philosophy based on intersections and encounters, Pinós interpretation of this year’s MPavilion provides visitors a space to immerse themselves in an inclusive civic space, a cultural laboratory and a place for people to meet, learn and engage with ideas and design. From October to February 2019, MPavilion becomes the focal point of a four-month program of free cultural events and activities and is open free to public. Queen Victoria Gardens, opposite the Arts Centre on St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC

St Collins Lane has become a part of Melbourne’s diverse retail identity since its opening in 2016. One of the most recognisable features of St. Collins Lane is the green sculptural lightscape designed by ARM Architects.  Shoppers and visitors can view this unique lighting feature that runs the entire length of the second-floor canopy, elegantly falling through voids at alternating heights to create a breathtaking centrepiece in the space. 260 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, (03) 9650 4355

The design of the Shrine of Remembrance was selected by competition among Australian artists and architects. Eighty-three designs were submitted, and the winning design was by two Melbourne returned-soldier architects, Philip Hudson and James Wardrop. The redevelopment by ARM Architects has expanded it from purely a monument to an innovative exhibition space and education facility while honouring the Shrine’s historical and symbolic function. Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC 3001, (03) 9661 8100

Innovative Dining

Lûmé reimagines culinary experiences for diners who are bored with traditional fine dining. Once diners step through the door they are welcomed by warm hospitality and journey through a well thought out menu. In 2016, Lûmé became the first restaurant in Australia to incorporate augmented and virtual reality into the fine dining experience. 226 Coventry St, South Melbourne VIC 3205, (03) 9690 0185

HWKR offers diners interchanging vendors, app-powered ordering and fuss-free experience. Inspired by the hawker food centres in Singapore and Malaysia, HWKR is a contemporary space where people can socialise and experience an array of South East Asian food right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. The concept was pioneered by ICD Property and occupies the ground floor of their architecturally acclaimed, award winning Eq. Tower on A'Beckett Street in Melbourne's CBD. Ground Floor, 137 A'Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000, (03) 9018 7135

As the name suggests Dans le Noir? offers a dining experience in pitch darkness: a unique sensory, human and social experience at The Como Melbourne (Chapel Street). Guests can choose among a limited choice of surprise menus and be guided by a team of visually impaired waiters. The idea is that each guest does not know exactly what he or she will be eating. 630 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141, (03) 9825 2228

Atlas Dining‘s passion for travel and an appetite to learn about different world cuisines means that the restaurant’s cuisine changes every four months. Head chef Charlie Carrington travels to different destinations to research the flavours and cooking techniques of a country, then returns to the kitchen and creates an experimental set menu based on his experiences.  133 Commercial Road, South Yarra VIC 3186, (03) 9826 2621

Out of a humble garage in Abbotsford, the vision of AU79 was to create one of Melbourne’s premiere cafes – was brought to life by award-wining design studio Mim Design. The contemporary hospitality space in the guise of a sprawling indoor botanical garden – features a café, bakery, patisserie, chocolatier and coffee roaster, with a variety of event spaces both large and small. 27/29 Nicholson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, (03) 9429 0138


The Shrine of Remembrance


Lume Restaurant
Josie Withers | Melbourne June 2017

Innovative Drinking

The District Docklands is now home to Urban Alley Brewery, a brand new 690-capacity brew pub conveniently located under the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. With just windows separating the venue from the brewery, the sweet smell of malts and hops is carried throughout the venue. Urban Alley offers visitors a relaxed setting with a conscience – the interiors are created from recycled brick and timber and plants to reduce their carbon footprint through trading water with the distillery next door that will reduce gas emissions. G09/12 Star Circus, Docklands VIC 3008, (03) 8080 9800

Eau de Vie offers patrons an experience of the past - a bar straight out of 1920’s prohibition America. From the moment they walk in, they are taken back to a long-forgotten era. Secretly hidden behind a book case, the Whisky Room owes its name to a large collection of rare and exclusive whiskies that live there. It is also home to Eau de Vie’s Bottle Lockers, where you can purchase your favourite spirit bottle from Eau-de- Vie and store it for your next visit. 1 Malthouse Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, (03) 8393 9367

Little Lon is the new kid in town handcrafting small batch spirits in east Melbourne. Focusing on gin, this inner city gin distiller opens its bar three days a week from Thursday to Saturday. Visitors wanting to learn about the distillation process, base spirit and the flavours and botanicals of Little Lon’s gins which are inspired by the characters who once lived in and around their current site can book in a masterclass tasting. 17 Casselden Place, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, 0434 796 873

Innovative Entertainment

City dwellers and travellers needing some pet TLC can head to Australia’s first ever Cat Café.  Established in 2014, all the cats at Cat Café Melbourne are from rescue shelters with the aim of increasing awareness of the benefits of rescue animals. Coffee and snacks are also available on site for those feeling peckish.  30 Guildford Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, (03) 9642 8540

More than a regular pub crawl and a history class, Drinking History Tours offers visitors a combination of the city’s history, culture and insights of a walking tour, with the fun and socialisation of a bar tour. In Fitzroy, the tour take visitors to the bohemian home to hipsters, architects and artists, with more restaurants, bars and live music venues per capita than any Melbourne suburb. The Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne VIC 3000, 0402 242 982

Led by personal stylists, Fashion by Foot takes shoppers on a retail journey to meet Melbourne-based designers in Brunswick, Fitzroy and Collingwood. On the tour, shoppers will have the opportunity to discover and go behind the scenes of micro-sized businesses that design and produce exceptional, indie and bespoke clothing and accessories. The walking tours run exclusively once a month retailing at $185 per person and shopping is optional, if they can resist. 219 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, 0488 440 511

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