The Village Belle Hotel, one of St Kilda’s enduring landmarks, reopened its doors late last year following extensive renovations with the aim of becoming St Kilda’s destination pub. Beginning as a humble pub in 1895, the historic pub was restored and expanded by Technē Architecture + Interior Design and Schiavello Construction to bring the ‘Belle’ into the 21st Century, while maintaining a sense of history. The synergy between old and new balances the Victorian-era heritage fabric with contemporary elements of concrete and glass.
The centrepiece of the revamp is the indoor/outdoor contemporary beer garden which sits between the original structure and Acland Street, enclosed in fully operable glazing and robust steel framing, providing patrons with a comfortable drinking environment across summer and winter. TILT Industrial Design collaborated with Technē Architecture + Design to produce the custom 200 sqm glass operable roof. The huge operable roof draws ample natural light into the beer garden, while enabling climate control throughout changing weather and seasons.
TILT’s design greatly increased the headroom clearance possible in large, open areas of the garden. This could only be achieved through custom design, by decreasing the roof’s pitch below that of an off-the-shelf product. The TILT team also worked closely with acoustic consultants to develop specific design features that would provide adequate noise reduction for the surrounding residential area. TILT and Technē have retained the heritage building’s character, meanwhile creating a contemporary addition with climatic control that ensures the comfort of patrons.
The Village Belle Hotel also includes 12 boutique apartments, though they are separate to and not connected to the pub, providing acoustic separation between the activities within the pub and the apartment residents.