Imagine a cloud-like structure suspended above vertical rain gardens, a floating bar and an open-kitchen eatery, right in the heart of Melbourne – that’s the ambitious project a group of designers at HASSELL are currently working on.

For the second year in a row, HASSELL is designing the centrepiece of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, presented by Bank of Melbourne. The Immersery – Festival Kitchen, Bar and Raingarden will be the 2014 event’s spectacular hub, interpreting the Festival’s theme of water.

The floating bar will be located on a barge, moored in the Yarra River. The open-air kitchen will sit on the banks of the river, next to the barge and adjacent to Queensbridge Square. The cloud-like structure made from scaffolding and PVC pipes atop Sandridge Bridge and above the bar and dining area creates a skyline community space that visitors will be able to enjoy for the duration of the Festival. Finally, the vertical plant display, demonstration rain gardens and feature plantings of drought tolerant species, appropriate to the local climate and rainfall conditions, will be located throughout the Immersery.

“The Immersery is a metaphorical representation of the water cycle, designed over three levels of the space: river, square and bridge. We celebrate the intriguing and ephemeral qualities of clouds, communicate the preciousness of water as a natural resource, and draw attention to opportunities for the capture and reuse of water in an effort to reduce consumption and protect the quality of our water ways,” said Brenton Beggs, a Landscape Architect from HASSELL.

“Our installation will temporarily transform a well known Melbourne space on the Yarra River, and provide visitors with an immersive experience to learn about water within the urban context,” said Andrea Giuradei, a HASSELL Architect.

The project is inspired by the inherent qualities of water and the processes through which it is transformed during its continuous cyclical journey around the earth.

The Immersery follows the successful centrepiece of the 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the HASSELL designed Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar.



The 2014 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs from 28 February – 16 March

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