First Class Lounge MelbourneView text
Marc designed the Qantas First Class Lounges in the Sydney and Melbourne international terminals in parallel with the development of his design for the interiors of the Qantas A380 aircraft.
The concept behind the development of the lounges was to reintroduce some of the style and glamour of the early years of aviation. The Melbourne lounge, much smaller than its Sydney counterpart, also offers breathtaking views of the airport’s runway and shares the same furniture and decorative elements.
Like in Sydney, the lounge in Melbourne had to be capable of accommodating hundreds of people at peak times, and “the challenge was to create intimate space in a huge space, which was possible because the space is curved so you can’t see from one end to the other.” Newson used sculptural wooden dividers made from European oak to separate the long space into open, bay-like sections; aerodynamically shaped, like a section of an airplane’s wing, these open frames highlight the curve of the ceiling and slope of the window wall, and give definition to the entire space while creating a sense of intimacy and privacy by dividing the space into smaller areas. Marc designed all of the furniture throughout the lounge, including easy chairs, sofas, dining table and chairs, bar stools and lighting. The colour palette of dark red, ochre, and subdued warm tones, was inspired by the Australian landscape. Instead of a computer read-out for the departure information; Marc chose an old-fashioned rotating flap display board in which the sounds of the flaps turning when new information is posted reminds visitors of bygone days of travel, adding another nostalgic element to the overall design.