All eyes turned towards the 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, where Lexus hosted a grand utopian gala at the Lexus Design Pavilion
As Lexus opened the doors to its renowned Design Pavilion at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington Racecourse, it did so as the principal partner of the Victoria Racing Club. Only the fourth such partner in the club’s 157-year history, the relationship included naming rights sponsorship of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
With the theme of “Utopia”, this year the Lexus Design Pavilion transformed Flemington’s world-famous Birdcage Marquee into a treasure trove of experiential delights. “Each year, Lexus evolves the harmony between Japanese humility and craftsmanship - reflected in the choice of exceptional collaborators and the new structure itself," said Lexus design consultant Henry Wilson.
The 2018 pavilion echoed the distinctive craftsmanship infused into every Lexus vehicle. The design was a rejuvenation of Joost Bakker’s ‘Futurecave’ concept that first debuted at the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival. The bold exterior of the Lexus pavilion offered reflected glimpses of Flemington framed by clean black lines, while the bright, airy interior became a playground for every sense.
Fragrant floral arrangements, artfully placed throughout the pavilion, provided moments of natural color and beauty. Magnificent pieces of glass, suspended from the ceiling, appeared to float weightlessly. Guests enjoyed the artful surroundings in an afternoon of culture, cuisine, art, design and racing.
Lexus ambassador and culinary icon Neil Perry of Melbourne restaurant Future Future and Shaun Quade of Lûmé offered up sumptuous modern Australian menus rich with Asian and European influences. Guests were treated to world-class indulgences in dining and hospitality while experiencing the thrill of Melbourne Cup racing.
The ground floor gallery showcased the LF-1 Limitless Concept in its Australian debut. The vehicle’s elegant design evokes images of molten metal forged into a Japanese katana. Its flowing lines and chiseled shape were perfectly at home in the stunning pavilion.
A towering horse sculpture by Sydney artist Anna-Wili Highfield was contrasted against the LF-1. Fusing elements of steel, ceramic, plaster, rope, wood and brass, the sculpture radiated equestrian power and beauty.
A grand staircase led to a balcony with envious, panoramic views overlooking Flemington's famous track. Occupying one corner of the balcony was the robust, yet refined Lexus UX. This was the first opportunity for the Australian public to catch a glimpse of this innovative luxury compact crossover vehicle.
A special Lexus guest of honour this year was Australian fashion icon and businesswoman Elle Macpherson. Lexus ambassadors mingled with other special guests that included racing royalty Emma Freedman and Kate Waterhouse, media personality and businesswoman Megan Gale, two-time NRL premiership-winning player Anthony Minichiello and two-time Rugby World Cup-winning captain John Eales.