The Emerson

April 17, 2014
The Emerson

19th century American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was a big believer that life was to be lived, parties were to be held, and fun was to be had. In his words, “it is a happy talent to know how to play”.

So it’s little wonder that Melbourne’s latest must-visit destination is all about having one heck of a great time.

Welcome to The Emerson, a $12-million, two year total renovation and refurbishment of the iconic heritage listed Market Hotel.

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  • The exterior of The Emerson on 143-145 Commercial Road, South Yarra. Image, William Watt.

This is no standard transformation – New York firm M-Use (responsible for the famous China Grills of New York, Las Vegas and Miami) collaborated with local talent DC Group to create the three-level club, bar, rooftop and eatery.

It has been some time since Melbourne has welcomed an entertainment venue of this calibre.

The ground floor’s rough stone slab flooring and oakwood raised ceiling pay respectful homage to the building’s historic architecture.

These grandiose elements are enhanced through the splendid staircase, wood wall panelling and ‘bubble’ chandeliers.

It is on this level that the bar room and club are located, and where metallics such as mesh screening, the bronze metal bar and gold leaf accents on wall panelling set lofty expectations of what is to come.

Up the staircase and through to the Lounge and Cocktail Bar.

Perhaps the most striking immediate feature here is the series of translucent coffer lights that look like a collection of classy lamps turned upside down, and which are set in diagonal trusses running along the ceiling

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  • A beautiful rich, and welcoming, colour palette. Image, William Watt

Here antique cerused (limed) oakwood arranged in a parquetry pattern is off-set by striking red/orange leather wall panels and a grey stone bar.

Further up and you reach the outdoor deck, where Melbourne’s panorama is on full display.

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  • The fantastic deck level. Image, William Watt

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  • Plenty of comfy seating to relax the afternoon away. Image, William Watt

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  • Watch the sunset on a perfect Melbourne afternoon. Image, William Watt

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  • Gorgeous, panoramic views of Melbourne. Image, William Watt

The Grille Room bistro opens directly onto the deck, but can be separated by a glass and wood accordion wall.

Indeed, the clever use of glass delineators can be found throughout the space, serving to separate areas but still encouraging guests to explore with their eyes.

Glazed brick tiles are put to clever use covering the lift exterior and fireplaces, and a turquoise, sky blue and gold palette is a soft nod towards art deco.

Quite a striking feature here is the flooring – glossy white penny tile with gold mirror accents create a highly reflective surface that is sure to bounce light night and day.

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  • The stunning flooring with the striking gold pops of colour. Image, William Watt

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  • Amazing textures and colur palette works seamlessly together to create a harmonious design. Image, William Watt

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  • Incredible views from all angles of The Emerson. Image, William Watt

There’s so much more to The Emerson, but certainly this is the place to come if you’re looking for decadent, sensual creativity for your home renovation.

We recommend doing so with a Bitter Sweet Lover (cocktail) for maximum inspiration, and heeding some more invaluable interior design advice from Emerson – “the ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it”.

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  • Another amazing level of The Emerson to enjoy a fantastic night out in Melbourne. Image, William Watt

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  • Incredible use of colour and light to create such a unique and inviting space. Image, William