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MONA Pavilions

The ultimate place to stay – among art, vineyards and beautiful
architecture. Penelope Barker explores the new MONA Pavilions.

Come the opening of Australia’s largest private museum in late 2010, Moorilla Estate winery – on the Derwent River north of Hobart – will have even more to offer visitors than its stunning vineyard setting, fabulous architect-designed accommodation decked out with designer accoutrements and contemporary art, and award-winning food and wine.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) will house an extraordinary collection of art from rare Egyptian antiquities to some of the most potent contemporary art.

The $100 million collection includes works by Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili and Sidney Nolan and promises to show visitors a new way of encountering contemporary art that challenges traditional views and encourages exploration and discussion (over a fine Moorilla wine, of course).

In the lead up to MONA’s opening, guests can stay in one of four new MONA Pavilions sitting on the northern tip of a peninsular jutting into the Derwent River.

Three are translucent glass and steel cubes that sit lightly in the landscape; the fourth is a diamond-shaped three-storey building enclosed in a silver metallic skin. Each self-contained pavilion is completely private, with access to an enclosed, heated infinity pool, sauna and gymnasium.

The new pavilions were designed by Nonda Katsilidis, of Fender Katsilidis, who has also designed MONA, in association with Antarctica Group. For Katsilidis, the new pavilions are his poetic and intuitive response to the modernist architecture already on site, and express his interest in combining shipping container forms and the ‘A-frame’ houses of the 1960s.

Museum and vineyard owner, David Walsh, has selected works from his private collection for each pavilion, including works by Brett Whiteley, Charles Blackman, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Tamy Ben-Tor and Erwin Wurm, and guests will also have access to their choice of on-line imagery streamed from the MONA collection once the museum opens.

Moorilla has been in the vanguard of the Tasmanian wine industry since the 1950s and facilities include a cellar door, micro-brewery and restaurant.  



Words: Penelope Barker

Photography: Brett Boardman


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