Amanda Levete’s MPavilion creates a forest-like canopy for Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens

Amanda Levete’s MPavilion design
Australia’s second ever MPavilion design is launched by Amanda Levete and AL_A
(Image credit: Image courtesy of AL_A)

London has the Serpentine Pavilion (opens in new tab), New York has its MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, and recently Australia got its own annual architectural celebration in the form of the MPavilion (opens in new tab). The brainchild of Naomi Milgrom and designed by a different architect every year, this installation was conceived to make its appearance on the grounds of Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens every October to house talks, performances and to interact with the park's many visitors. 

The project's life began in 2014, with a pavilion commissioned by the not-for-profit Naomi Milgrom Foundation. The clever, open-able design by local architect Sean Godsell was well received and a new tradition was established. The second pavilion, this year's highly anticipated structure, is an offering by London based architect Amanda Levete (opens in new tab) and her practice AL_A. 

Resembling a forest canopy and inspired by the light that penetrates the park's foliage, the new MPavilion filters the daylight, sheltering its guests. Featuring the latest technology in nautical engineering, the structure may look delicate but it is anything but fragile. The architects worked with Australian specialist mouldCAM to use a boundary‐pushing technology of composite materials that allow the roof to be strikingly slim - just a few millimetres thick. 

Construction is currently in progress and the structure is set to be inaugurated in early October by the V&A Director Martin Roth - a fitting match, since Levete's design (opens in new tab) for the London museum's is also currently underway on the other side of the globe, to be completed in 2017. 

Amanda Levete's MPavilion creates a forest-like canopy for Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens

Resembling a forest canopy, the pavilion was designed to provide shade for visitors and act as a shelter for events. 

(Image credit: Image courtesy of AL_A)

Amanda Levete's MPavilion creates a forest-like canopy for Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens

...which allow each 'petal' to be only a few millimetres thick.

(Image credit: Kane Jarrod)

Amanda Levete's MPavilion creates a forest-like canopy for Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens

(Image credit: press)

Amanda Levete's MPavilion creates a forest-like canopy for Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens

(Image credit: press)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).