Inside The Birdcage 2016: a sneak peek at the Lexus Design Pavilion

Emma Freedman in the Lexus marquee. Image credit Jim Lee.

Jess Gomes, an army of celebs, a three-hatted chef, all in a massive three-floor temple of luxury – Lexus’ Design Pavilion in The Birdcage 2016 is next level (literally).


The design

In the exclusive The Birdcage, marquees are all about making a big statement, and one of the greatest of them all is the three-level Lexus Design Pavilion. Almost as complex as a permanent structure to plan and build, the annual creation is increasingly spectacular. Guests are still talking about last year’s giant bird’s nest design by sustainable artist Joost Bakker – and he’s back on board this year, with an equally dramatic concept: the Pavilion is called Futurecave and consists of a beautiful concrete and glass shell decorated with various textures and patterns, made entirely from recyclable materials, with a core of 100 percent reclaimed concrete.

Inside, design studio Etic has created a serene, luxurious interior featuring soft layering and transparency as well as edible installations throughout, so guests can graze as they wander through the various spaces. The three levels of the stunning Pavilion have terraces, prime views of the racecourse and glass louvres.

Car lovers will be able to get up close and personal with the sexy new Lexus LC 500 coupe, on display for the first time in Australia inside the Pavilion.


Above: Ben Shewry creation. Image credit Karon.


Above: Ben Shewry and David Moyle. Image credit Karon.


Above: David Moyle creation. Image credit Karon.

What’s on the menu

The Lexus Design Pavilion boasts an array of indulgent foodie experiences. On Level One, Melbourne’s hip street cuisine concept, Mr Miyagi will be serving up a mouth-watering selection of signature cocktails including the Cold Drip Martini and Frosé, alongside standout dishes such as Miyagi Fried Chicken (MFC) and Nori Tacos.

On Level Two, the vibe elevates to a more refined concept designed by David Moyle of Tasmania’s Franklin restaurant. Influenced by the sea and natural environment, five special courses will be presented over five sittings each day.

Level 3 is a super-exclusive space with a special experience on offer for the chosen few. Ben Shewry of the three-hatted Attica returns to present a chef’s table concept over just six sittings for eight guests. Those lucky enough to experience an up-close encounter with one of the world’s most acclaimed chefs will enjoy four light dishes including chicken soup and matzo ball tart, hand-dived Port Phillip Bay scallop and Attica mint slice. jessica gomes lexus marquee melbourne cup birdsnest

Above: Jessica Gomes. Image credit Jim Lee. emma freedman lexus marquee melbourne cup birdsnest

Above: Emma Freedman. Image credit Jim Lee.

Who’s invited

Famous faces from entertainment, fashion and racing flock to this sought-after spot in The Birdcage each year, and those exploring the fab three levels on AAMI Derby Day 2016 include Jessica Gomes, Emma Freedman, Sylvia Jefferies, Steve Jacobs, Margaret Zhang, Dion Lee, Blainey North, Olympia Valance and Anna Bamford. On Emirates Melbourne Cup Day they’ll be joined by Hugh Sheridan, Megan Washington, Rebecca Maddern, Rob Mills, Demi Harman, Adriano Zumbo, John Eales, Matt Preston and Gyton Grantley.

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