• Type History
  • Location Melbourne
  • Construction 2003
  • Design Allan Powell Pty Ltd
  • Architect Allan Powell

The simple, modernist pavilion that is Carousel was thought to be ideal in its 1950’s-60’s festive, light-hearted, modest form – it has something about it of the transitory – a picnic, a party. It is hard to think of a contemporary style that would have the same feeling. To the visitor, the exact relationship of the building to the water is intriguing – is it afloat or is on land? This ambiguity is delightful. An entry bridge over water has been created to emphasise this feeling. Upon entering, the Melbourne CBD skyline is revealed and the lights of the city are reflected in the water. By looking to either side, the canopies of trees above the waterside pathways are seen.

While the form of the building is modest, the simple roof shape (interestingly similar to the aboriginal symbol for a water snake) is strong enough to be noticed upon approach and over the water as a memorable motif. The peaked rooves have an engaging presence creating the feeling of an encampment.

The feeling that upon entry one sees all of the interior – the extent of the building – again creates the feeling of being on a boat – another world – embarking on a joyous voyage for a few hours. The entry circle – or arrival point – with the high palm trees creates a sense of occasion. The building is in the Miesian (Mies Van Der Rohe: architect) style and is redolent of all the 1960’s – Jackie Kennedy and cars like an open-topped Lincoln convertible.