Koichi Takada’s temporary architecture for Lexus Australia makes a bold statement about the power of nature. The ‘Landmark by Lexus’ pavilion, came to life this year with the installation of over 1,000 native Australian plants on its facade, and it’s durable, modular design allows for it to be adapted and reused time after time for a truly sustainable offering.
The impressive three-storey structure, covered in native foliage and flowers, is the first of its kind at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. Designed by Koichi Takada Architects, the ‘Landmark by Lexus’ pavilion was the first venue to achieve carbon neutral certification within the ‘Flemington Birdcage’ – a precinct that attracts tens of thousands of guests during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
When it came to the design of 2023 ‘Landmark by Lexus’, Koichi Takada Architects sought inspiration from the Australian landscape. Prefabricated awnings interlock with the modular framework, add natural curves that softened the gridded man-made structure and support mass planting, which literally brought the façade to life.
Takada specified locally grown flora that contributes to the renewal of biodiversity and reiterates this year’s theme “Close to the Source”. Koichi Takada is known internationally for his architecture that draws inspiration from nature’s function and form.
He is also a vocal advocate about the wellbeing effects of being immersed in nature – making it his architectural mission to inspire us all to restore the balance between the natural world and built environment. An ambitious mission that benefits people and planet alike.
Enduring, engaging, experiential design
The robust material selection of ‘Landmark by Lexus’ allows it to be assembled, disassembled and stored between uses, minimising its environmental impact and helping it to achieve Carbon Neutral certification for two years running.
Yet the flexibility of the modular “box” allows fresh ideas to be brought to life each year. “With Landmark by Lexus 2023, we started by designing the experience – considering how to deliver multi-sensory architecture that would activate and engage guests for a truly memorable encounter,” says Takada.
Guests were encouraged to interact with the façade plantings, which included edible natives such as native pepper, saltbush and lemon myrtle. These interactive culinary moments were curated for guests, with the idea that they would pluck directly from the plantings to activate the senses as they smelt and tasted the bushtucker.
By increasing interaction and immersing the guests in this pavilion rich with sensorial pleasures – the enjoyment lingers long after last drinks have been poured. And with it, lingers the message of the importance of returning nature to our cities.
“I see my architecture as a living billboard,” says Takada, “an opportunity to showcase what can be achieved – and most importantly share how good it feels to reconnect with nature.”
Koichi Takada says: “We want to draw attention to the importance of greening our cities. The mass greening of urban landscapes can combat many of the problems we face today. Re-introducing trees and plants to man-made environments can reduce inner-city temperatures, increase biodiversity and reduce our stress levels at the same time.
Each of these benefits alone make a strong case for the widespread adoption of greening the grey.” “We are at a time in history when it is crucial to take action, to restore the balance. I believe nature holds the answers. And I’m using architecture to start the conversation.” Source by Koichi Takada Architects.
Location: Flemington, Melbourne, Australia
Architect: Koichi Takada Architects
Event & Hospitality Producer: The Big Group
Client: Lexus Australia
Building type: Temporary Pavilion