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Porte Cochere, Collins Place

An installation with Bridie Lunny to create a series of stages for performance that are carefully intertwined with the daily life of the Sofitel Hotel.

  • Client Brief

    A collaboration between Workshop Architecture and artist Bridie Lunney, Platform Contemporary Public Art Spaces, and RMIT University, inventively addresses the Sofitel vehicle dropoff area (known as a porte cochere) at Collins Place. This distinctive space, giant and empty, is intriguing, yet dysfunctional for its associated retail and entertainment uses.

    Our proposal was to use and creative intervention to rethink this space as a theatre, inviting a new occupation alongside the daily drop-offs, connecting it to the greater public life of the city. Porte Cochere is proposed as initial project that extends the contemporary art programme within Sofitel into the Collins Place precinct.

    Design Response

    Three installations act as stages for a series of performances, some of which will last for many hours. Each are designed to frame both the performance and the space, responding to the distinctive architecture of the porte cochere and providing a safe performance area separate from both cars and pedestrians.

    The three stages respond to the three dominant elements of the space: the central roundabout, the escalator and the large balcony created by the inward fold of the tower’s base. Each concentrates the spatial and architectural effect of its site: blocking, extending, compressing, abstracting.

    Performances will occur alongside the surrounding day-to-day use of the lobby, the hotel bars above and the public thoroughfare. These multiple viewpoints are a key part of the work; different experiences are gained by moving through the space at ground level and within the hotel above.

  • Characteristics

    Key values

    • Addresses the complexity and scale of its unique site
    • Provides an exciting and safe engagement with existing uses
    • Robust materials
    • Simple, logical installation procedure


    Key materials

    • Powdercoated Steel framing
    • Plywood finished in whiteboard film
  • Design Specifications

    Core deliverables

    • Installation system suitable for performance use

    Services Provided

    • Concept Design
    • Design Development
    • Funding Application

    Architect + Artist

    Workshop Architecture + Bridie Lunney


    Project Manager: Angela Brophy
    Project Team: Simon Whibley, Birdie Lunney, Angela Brophy
    Project Collaborators: Pei Modern, RMIT University Architecture Program,
    Photographer: Workshop Architecture


    AMP Capital

    Date completed

    Concept Design


    Melbourne CBD

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