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For those of you who know me, you will be well aware of my strong appreciation for Lexus and the excitement I experience in the lead up to the brand’s showcase at the Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival each year! Offering an exquisite and unique experience to racegoers, the luxury brand always brings its sophisticated and innovative flare to the Birdcage like no other can. Unique with its flamboyantly fresh and captivating decor, and exquisite with its immaculate hosting abilities and culinary experiences, the marquee is often described as the most exclusive and pioneering luxury brand activation within Flemington’s Birdcage.

With the marquee oozing sophistication, class, and elegance, it comes at no surprise that the creme de la creme of society gather inside the Lexus Design Pavillion to celebrate the race that stops the nation, the race for the Melbourne Cup. However it is that which occurs behind the scenes and the creative collaborations that are performed months in advance, that really amazes one with an in-depth appreciation of the architecturally advanced pavilion. A team of Australia’s most creatively gifted, a number of whom have a longstanding relationship with the brand, are sourced by Lexus to design the lavish marquee.
Having said that, following weeks, months, if not almost a year of anticipation as to the direction of the 2016 Lexus Design Pavillion, I am thrilled to announce the secrets for this year are out! We see the return of our beloved creative Lexus favourites- Joost Bakker and Ben Shewery, as well as a new and much welcomed appearance from Melbourne’s favourite, Mr Miyagi!

With Lexus recently unveiling their plans for the premier design project which encapsulates excitement from all different angles, I managed to get my hands on some images of what we can expect from this years visionary marquee, and wow is all I can say! Boy are we in for a treat!

This year, ‘Anticipation’ guides the marquee project, with a team of Australian creators collaborating on an experimental masterpiece combining world-class design featuring exhilarating dining and hospitality. The 2016 edition of the Lexus Design Pavilion will feature three newly-designed levels complete with terraces, views of the racecourse, and glass louvres that are set to provide Lexus guests the most imaginative sensory stimulations once again.

As per usual tradition, the focal point of the Lexus design pavilion will be a special Australia-first preview of a bombshell Lexus creation. This year will be the unveil of the Lexus LC 500 Coupe-  a daring and prominent statement signalling a new chapter in the Lexus brand direction. The cars aerodynamic profile, emotional forms, and dramatic curves feature elements of Lexus’ world-renowned, detail-obsessed Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.

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Now down to the marquee…heaven to my ears if I do say so myself! Sustainable artist Joost Bakker returns to work with Lexus for another showstopping year to create a striking, textural and porous structure encapsulating the pavilion, formerly known as the ‘Futurecave.’ All materials within the fabrication of the unique structure are endlessly recyclable, while the core is created from 100% reclaimed concrete.

Inside, Etic – a design studio established by Emilie Delalande and Lexus Ambassador Henry Wilson, will present a contrasting and soft environment – serene and nourishing – which is to be achieved through layering and transparency.
Etic has reintroduced the idea of luxury through the use of materials that are traditionally not perceived as such, promising memorable moments and interesting elements throughout. Interspersed within Etic’s creation will be edible installations that will take guests on a sensory journey while appreciating the many elements of the progressive pavilion’s structure.

Throughout the pavilion, an assortment of imaginative culinary experiences will also transport guests beyond the racecourse to a magical culinary wonderland. Level 1 will see Melbourne’s treasured and hottest street cuisine concept, Mr Miyagi, offering mouthwatering selections of their signature cocktails including the Cold Drip Martini and notorious frosé, alongside renowned dishes such as the Miyagi Fried Chicken (MFC) and Nori Tacos, providing Lexus guests with a more informal yet standout offering.

As guests ascend the Lexus Design Pavilion, the experience itself refines and elevates – with Level 2 welcoming guests to a dining concept 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 – offering guests a serene getaway to enjoy Australia’s most prominent international racing celebration.

Level 3, a unique aspect of the pavilion with views onto the racecourse, will offer a peak experience for a select few. Lexus Ambassador Ben Shewry of the three-hatted Attica will return 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 breathtaking Attica mint slice.

Every consecutive year, Lexus remains in line with its luxurious, vibrant, and modern aesthetic to create an extraordinarily memorable experience for guests attending the pavilion during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Working with only the best talent from all around the country, the result never ceases to amaze me, and 2016 is set to be no different!

Stay tuned for insider coverage throughout the carnival.


W by White Wolfe