Amanda Levete’s MPavilion creates a forest-like canopy for Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens
London has the Serpentine Pavilion, New York has its MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, and recently Australia got its own annual architectural celebration in the form of the MPavilion. 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 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 for the London museum’s is also currently underway on the other side of the globe, to be completed in 2017.