MPavilion’s 2020 initiative supports creatives and local communities

The Naomi Milgrom Foundation's newly announced plans for MPavilion 2020 include a series of commissions and a programme that supports designers and artists, while engaging local communities in Melbourne and beyond

Rem Koolhaas And David Gianotten's MPavilion, 2017
Glenn Murcutt’s MPavilion, 2019.
(Image credit: Rory Gardiner)

The MPavilion, Melbourne's annual celebration of architecture, in the shape of a light structure erected in the city's Queen Victoria Gardens and each year designed by a different architect, has just announced its 2020 plans. In a departure from the norm, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, the organisation behind the innovative initiative, has just revealed that instead of building a new pavilion for 2020, the plan is to put the focus on the existing pavilions to enhance their role and engagement with their local communities. 

The pavilion series has seen six iterations so far: Sean Godsell's in 2014, Amanda Levete's in 2015, Bijoy Jain/Studio Mumbai's in 2016, Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten/OMA's in 2017, Carme Pinos' in 2018, and Glenn Murcutt's in 2019. So far, Levete's piece sits at Collins Street Docklands; the OMA-designed one has found a home at Monash University; while Jain's is located at Melbourne Zoo; and the project by Godsell has been modified into Melbourne’s Hellenic Museum. The relocation set for Pinós’ pavilion will also be revealed in September. 

Glenn Murcutt's MPavilion 2019

The MPavilion 2019 by Glenn Murcutt.

(Image credit: Rory Gardiner)

Today's announcement also reveals that the last pavilion, 2019's Glenn Murcutt-designed structure, has been gifted to The University of Melbourne and will be relocated in the summer. ‘In commissioning the 2019 MPavilion, Naomi Milgrom was very open to a broad range of possibilities when she engaged me as the architect,' says Murcutt, Australia's only Pritzker Prize-winning architect. ‘One specific requirement was that the assembly of the pavilion should be ordered so that it could be easily disassembled and reassembled when relocated to its new site. I’m delighted with the gifting of the MPavilion to The University of Melbourne, the building will continue its journey within the campus, engaging students for years to come.'

The decision was made as a response to the current global pandemic and is designed to help support artists and designers at a time where they really need it. This will be done through a specially designed programme of events, which will be rolled out across all pavilions in their new locations. The idea is to create a series of commissions and provide a platform for exchange of ideas, debate around architecture and support both creatives and local communities in an efficient and sustainable way – while reusing the beautiful architectural pieces already available through this six-year long program.

An open call for proposals has just been launched, with funding of up to $5,000 available for each of the selected projects, responding in a variety of themes, from exploring social space, to the notions of time and collaboration.

‘In our lifetimes, there’s never been a more important moment to make the most of the resources we already have — especially architectural structures and spaces, so I’m delighted that my MPavilion 2015 will be part of this initiative,' says Levete.

Sean Godsell's MPavilion, 2014

Sean Godsell’s MPavilion, 2014.

(Image credit:  Simon Terrill)

Amanda Levete's MPavilion, 2015

Amanda Levete’s MPavilion, 2015.

(Image credit:  Simon Terrill)

Bijoy Jain's MPavilion, 2016

Bijoy Jain’s MPavilion, 2016. 

(Image credit: Simon Terrill)

Rem Koolhaas And David Gianotten's MPavilion, 2017

Rem Koolhaas And David Gianotten’s MPavilion, 2017.

(Image credit: Simon Terrill)

Carme Pinos' MPavilion, 2018

Carme Pinos’ MPavilion, 2018. 

(Image credit: Simon Terrill)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director 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), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).