Bamboo wonder: Studio Mumbai’s Bijoy Jain designs 2016 MPavilion in Melbourne

Bamboo wonder: Studio Mumbai’s Bijoy Jain designs 2016 MPavilion in Melbourne

MPavilion is Melbourne’s yearly landmark architecture event, conceived to provide the Australian city with a new social area and event hub, dedicated to the celebration of art, design and architecture. The concept behind this year’s pavilion has just been announced – created by Bijoy Jain, the award-winning founder of Indian practice Studio Mumbai.

The MPavilion program, initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and supported by the City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government, calls on an ‘outstanding’ architect to envision a temporary pavilion for the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens. Last year’s design came courtesy of AL_A (headed by Amanda Levete), while the 2014 edition was provided by Australian firm Sean Godsell Architects.

Totalling 12m in height, Jain’s structure will consist entirely of bamboo, securing the title of the largest of its kind ever built in Australia. Standing on a 18m x 18m base, the construction will stretch upwards, taking the form of a tazia – a ceremonial tower commonly used in Indian festival processions. The structure will be built by a family located in Bharuch in central-west India, who specialise in the ancient art.

The lower portion of the pavilion – the tazia’s base – will be covered by an awning and roof made of woven bamboo lattice panels, secured using a mix of cow dung and wet soil. The engineering and construction will be managed by both Studio Mumbai and Indian firm Kane Construction, assisted by Arup engineers, who have offices in Mumbai and Melbourne.

Alongside the structure itself, each year the MPavilion programme brings together a range of creative talent that presents work alongside the architecture. Similarly, this year sees a four-month long itinerary of talks, workshops and performances, set to run on site from October – when the pavilion is inaugurated – until February 2017.

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