Port Phillip Estate, Mornington, Australia
Location: Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Year built: 2009
Architect: Wood Marsh
The Port Phillip Estate winery is an award-winning architectural feat by established Australian firm, Wood Marsh. Surrounded by rolling hills, lavish vineyards and vibrant blue skies, the unique limestone structure demands attention.
Located south-west of Melbourne, near Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, the estate boasts panoramic views across the Western Port. The unique, contemporary design deservedly won the National Award for Commercial Architecture at the AIA’s 2010 National Architecture Awards.
Keeping the raw, grassy nature of the surroundings in mind, Wood Marsh created an architectural delight that blends with the landscape. Viewed from a distance, the immense structure appears like a discarded piece of bleached driftwood or ancient whalebone, left behind after the tides have long gone out.
About Wood Marsh
Wood Marsh was founded by philosophical, aesthetically-focused designers Roger Wood and Randal Marsh in 1983. Their work spans residential, commercial and urban architectural spaces, and is underpinned by considerations about regions and landscapes.
Wood and Marsh cite the visual arts as an inspiration for their work. They prefer to follow artistic impulses rather than the rise and fall of architectural design trends. Their creations are an exercise in sculpture, playing on the contrast between solidity and transparency, characterised by earth tones and a focus on limited colour palettes.
Wood Marsh came to prominence with their early designs for nightclub interiors in the mid-1980s, which exhibited flamboyant, theatrical qualities. Over time, the company evolved towards designing immense structures such as hotels, art museums and freeway sound barriers.
Other prominent works include the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the YVE hotel, and the EastLink freeway.
Although lots of gems have come up in Mornington in recent years, this one’s the OG. Despite my bias (their Meres being my favourite wine), there’s no denying Port Philip Estate is an architectural masterpiece. Understated yet extravagant, the rammed limestone walls and honest materials are complemented by dramatic views and lighting creating theatrical moments. A timeless destination for architecture and wine lovers alike. – Raghav Goel