White Night Melbourne 2014

White Night Melbourne 2014

White Night was a celebration of Melbourne’s Urbanism and culture on an unprecedented scale. From the National Gallery of Victoria in the South, to the Melbourne City Baths in the North, the city was turned over to the people to explore, feel, participate and spectate over 100 separate activities and installations. Estimates suggest that half a million people flooded in to the Central Business District to take in the festival. At its peak, Swanston Street seemed to have narrowed with the sheer volume of people taking over the street.


Flinders Street Illuminated

Perhaps the most iconic aspect to White Night was the Flinders Street Projections. The artwork created by Electric Canvas transformed the Flinders Streetscape into an intense canyon of colour and movement.

Flinders Street Station Illuminated

Flinders Street Station Illuminated

Flinders Street Illuminated

‘Wonderland’ Flinders Street Illuminated

The Forum Illuminated

The Forum Illuminated

Drawing on Architecture in  Chapter House Lane

Drawing on Architecture in Chapter House Lane


The State Library of Victoria

The State Library was projected upon both inside and out. From the outside images of roman antiquities artificially aged the neoclasical facade back 2000 years. Moments later a brilliant projection of macro scale plant forms transform the facade into something else entirely.

State Library Illuminated

State Library Illuminated

Once within the reading room, the viewer is exposed to a 360 degree projection entitled Molecular Kaleidoscope ‘Virus One Billion Times’. The animation features super sized virus cell structure and DNA chains that pulsate colour around the room to an intense soundtrack composed by Franc Tétaz. The reading room is a perfect location for this expression which mixes science and art so successfully.




Melbourne Central Shot Tower

Of all the fantastic projection and illumination pieces on offer during White Night, one of the most eye-poping pieces was I Heart Melbourne by Kollide Projections. The way that the artist used the brick canvas to create an illusion of folding and sliding bricks was brilliant.


National Gallery of Victoria

One of the most popular attractions of White Night was National Gallery of Victoria. The iconic stone facade designed by Roy Grounds provided the perfect canvas for elaborate projections of tattooed bodies by Nicole Reed and The Electric Canvas. The piece entitled Tattooed City played upon the link between street art on our buildings and tattoos on our skin.

Tattooed City, National Gallery of Victoria Illuminated

Tattooed City, National Gallery of Victoria Illuminated

Within the gallery, The Melbourne Now exhibition was in full swing with some additional events such as a silent disco and a RRR Radio Live broadcast.

Aside from the beautiful Roy Grounds masterpiece, a clear highlight is the much publicised ‘Bin Dome’ by Dr Rory Hyde. Constructed primarily from plastic rubbish bins sourced from Ikea, the geodesic dome sits boldly within the space. It is a sublime piece of design which highlights the confidence and competence of Melbourne’s architectural industry.

Naturally for a night like White Night it would not suffice for the dome to be used as a chill out space. Instead a mini dance party was taking place in front of a live DJ to ensure a dynamic audio and visual experience was combined.

Bin Dome by Dr Rory Hyde

Bin Dome by Dr Rory Hyde

From within the Bin Dome by Dr Rory Hyde

From within the Bin Dome by Dr Rory Hyde

NGV Ceiling Reflection


Purple Rain

Who would have thought Melbournians would queue for up to an hour, just to see rain. Who would have thought that this wait would be well worthwhile? Purple Rain was an installation art piece by Pierre Ardouvin which creates a truly remarkable sensory experience. Set against the backdrop of the Old Melbourne Gaol, participants are equipped with transparent umbrellas and then enticed into a purple mist. Naturally the experience is capped off by the amplified soundtrack, Purple Rain by Prince.

Purple Rain experience

Purple Rain backdrop


White Night 2014 was an experience like no other Melbourne has seen. Part arts festival, part street party, part exhibition, Melbourne has never looked more like a cultural hub. Key to this is the world class architecture, the cornerstone of Melbourne’s cultural expression.

Architecture is for Everyone


About Michael Smith

Architect and Director of Atelier Red + Black based in Melbourne, Australia
This entry was posted in all posts, Free architecture, News, Uncategorized, Urban Design and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to White Night Melbourne 2014

  1. Pingback: Week 2 – Gelatinous Cube Eats Village

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