When it comes to Birdcage marquees, the Lexus Design Pavilion leads the way for innovative design. It's back to the future with its latest concept and reason enough to believe that attending the races has more to do with cars than you think.
Dubbed the future cave, the three-level construction turns to motoring for its wow factor and makes sure guests are reminded of the forthcoming Lexus LS sedan, which makes its public debut in April 2018.
Conceptualised by eco-warrior Joost Bakker, the interiors of the Pavilion are in the capable hands of French born, Sydney based designer Emilie Delalande from Studio Etic who reinterprets the car's beauty into the space ever so elegantly.
Beneath the surface
The car's silver exterior is captured in the modern touches with shimmery silver cues while a three-dimensional wall panelling reminiscent of the LS cabin is also featured.
It's a play of light and shade throughout – intended as a pointer to the Japanese Kiriko glass ornament in the door of the forthcoming vehicle. There are mirrors throughout to give the VIP guest a sense of being watched and being an onlooker at once.
Oxblood pleated leather interiors are reflected in the upholstered walls of the pavilion – oozing a carnal beauty and some soft pink diversions while charcoal grey carpets climb throughout.
According to Delalande, the inside of the pavilion is intended to replicate what it's like to be behind the wheel of the new sedan. It's a clever move by Lexus who aren't horsing around with their messaging.
Art and design collide
You can have your portrait taken by renowned Australian photographer Hugh Stewart, sit with a perfumist from Mecca to choose a fragrance (the appointments last 30 minutes and will compliment your outfit on the day) or enjoy a gin at the L Finesse bar that borrows from a Japanese gin palette for extra bespoke experiences.
Renowned floral artist Dr. Cooper transforms the pavilion taking sculptural inspiration by Flemington's spring rose gardens. Food is designed by Lexus culinary ambassador Ben Shewry and Zac Nicholson from Rockpool.
Industrial designer Henry Wilson constructed a chandelier between the second and third floor – circular discs that look like clear vinyl records and reflect lights within the room like those on a car's bumper.
"Guests can expect something very opulent with lots of texture," says Delalande.
"Everything in the car is very sensory and tactile and we wanted that same mood to be felt in the space this time around."
She says the title 'future cave' is less of a starting point for the design process and more about contrasting elements.
"The structure is raw and utilitarian but the interior is plush and opulent," she explains.
Form communicating function
Delalande, who was born and raised on a farm in France and moved to Australia at the age of 23, is enjoying the interior design limelight, now working with Lexus for a second year.
She is known for her hospitality projects and retail ones too (Lee Matthews flagship in Melbourne) and is working on a new Solotel hospitality restaurant and bar that is due to open in Sydney come December.
"When you design a restaurant you plan for a few years in terms of décor and function," she says.
"It's always a challenge but very fulfilling to create something for Lexus and think in terms of a marquee that only has a week long shelf life."
"The way I approach a project is to try to be as honest as possible and do things in a way that makes sense," she says.