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MPavilion 2017—OMA's design vision



Now in its fourth year, MPavilion is a leading architecture commission and design event held in Melbourne, Australia. The Naomi Milgrom Foundation (NMF) commissions a temporary pavilion that is designed by a leading international architect, with the purpose of facilitating talks, workshops, performances and installations.

The 2017 pavilion has been designed by Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten of Netherlands-based architects OMA. “MPavilion is a project that hopes to provoke discussion around what architecture can do both globally and in an Australian context,” state the architects. “We’re interested in treating this pavilion not just as an architectural object, but as something that injects intensity into a city and contributes to an ever-evolving culture.”

Architects who have worked on the project in previous years include: Sean Godsell (2014), Amanda Levete of AL_A (2015), and Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai (2016). MPavilion 2014 was moved to the gardens of the Hellenic Museum and MPavilion 2015 in a park on Collins Street, Docklands.

The 2017 MPavilion design takes “its cues from the ancient amphitheatre, this year’s pavilion blurs the lines between inside and outside—and between audience and performer—in a skillful yet empathetic manipulation of the surrounding landscape in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. OMA’s pavilion design seeks not only to employ the qualities of the amphitheatre, but to animate them by creating a flexible civic space that can function as a stage, auditorium or even playground,” states NMF.

The circular amphitheatre is sited on a hill and surrounded by indigenous plants. A huge floating roof will cover the structure and two tiered grandstands—one fixed, the other movable—will provide seating. “The simple materiality of the pavilion is related to its direct surroundings, positioning the Queen Victoria Gardens itself—and the city of Melbourne—as a basis for activity and debate within the pavilion,” says Gianotten.

The fixed and rotating elements of the pavilion design allows for flexibility in its configurations, and should easily adjust to the different programming requirements. Construction of the MPavilion is due to commence in August 2017.

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