March 2014. Southern autumn begins. In Little Collins Street, within Melbourne’s historic downtown, where the most beautiful Victorian buildings in the country stand the test of time and it is easy to find the most renowned boutiques and offices of important banks and insurance companies, a new Starwood hotel opens its doors to the public. Sheraton Melbourne, a shiny new five-star hotel of curvilinear profile, towers above the so-called ‘Parisian district’, a lively, fashionable area, packed with restaurants, theatres, museums and high-end shops. Its rooftop, located at level 3, immediately became the perfect place for workers in the vicinity to call it a day and enjoy of a relaxed after-work, but also for the hotel guests to have a pre or post dinner drink in a cool, modern atmosphere. Its main lure are, undoubtedly, its exclusive cocktails, like the Little Collins or the Cosmopolitan Initialled, and chef Achim Herterich’s exquisite appetizers inspired by French cuisine.
But also the spectacular background: Melbourne’s skyline, one of the most fascinating cities in Australia, peeping out through the vegetation, majestically outlined by the city lights against the darkish vespertine sky. If it were not enough, the rooftop escapes from seasonality thanks to a finely arranged constellation of umbrellas and outdoor fireplaces (two inglenooks and a good number of portable heaters), helping create a warm and pleasant environment even in the depths of winter. The project was developed by Hecker Guthrie, one of the most well-regarded design studios in town. Paying attention to two principles, authenticity and identity, they went for natural materials such as the soft stone floor and a simple, restrained colour palette. Elegance and modernity go hand in hand in this design paying homage to European architecture and above all, trying to make customers feel at home.
Soft music and dim lights invite lounging around in the armchairs and sofas of the Nido collection by Javier Pastor, flecked with yellow cushions as the only dissonant colour note, or in the Out_ Line hand-woven chairs designed by Nieves Contreras. The high stools lined up in front of the bar also belong to this collection. Above them, an arbour of metal slats projects a dreamy striped pattern over the furniture and suggests untangling an intricate game of perspectives. At one end of the rooftop, slightly apart and with a certain tone of intimacy, there is a space bounded by gigantic tubs planted with trees. There we find again some Nido armchairs as well as the aluminium versions of Copa and Radial collections by Studio expormim, finished in black and wearing seat pads. Inspired by classic pieces, but with a full contemporary look, these chairs match the designers’ original intention of creating a refined and modern atmosphere. Set in pairs around small round tables, they work as a romantic hook for those who wish to enjoy the terrace bar in couple.