Temporary architecture brings joy to Melbourne’s summer

Melbourne celebrates the arrival of not one, but two new temporary pavilions: the 2021 MPavilion and the annual National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission

the 2021 MPavilion by MAP in Melboure
The 2021 MPavilion by MAP.
(Image credit: Anthony Richardson)

Melbourne’s vibrant architecture scene has been bolstered by the opening of two joyful, temporary architecture projects this week. Get ready to welcome the 2021 MPavilion and the Architecture Commission by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Here, colour and playfulness rule.

Melbourne’s two new temporary architecture pavilions

MPavilion

The annual MPavilion commission by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation is back after last year’s hiatus in Queen Victoria Gardens, adjacent to Melbourne Arts Precinct. The design by Venice-based MAP studio is composed of a 6m-tall grid that floats on prefabricated concrete supports and holds a set of mirrored aluminium panels to reflect light, as well as provide glimpses of other visitors and the pavilion’s bright yellow floor. 

2021 MPavilion, a temporary architecture pavilion by MAP studio, seen among greenery

The 2021 MPavilion by MAP studio.

(Image credit: Anthony Richardson)

Named The Lightcatcher, the pavilion functions as a stage around which people will gather to attend free performances, talks, workshops and children’s activities programmed over the summer months. When the pavilion closes in April 2022 it will be gifted to the state and relocated to a permanent home somewhere in Victoria, joining previous MPavilions that occupy a variety of sites from Docklands to Melbourne Zoo.

NGV architecture commission, a temporary architecture commission, in melbourne for 2021

NGV Architecture Commission.

(Image credit: Derek Swalwell)

NGV Architecture Commission

Across the road from MPavilion, NGV has revealed its annual Architecture Commission in its sculpture garden. Entitled Pond[er], the design by architecture firm Taylor Knights in collaboration with artist James Carey is centred on a bright pink pond – wrapping around Henry Moore’s 1958 sculpture Draped Seated Woman – and beds of Australian wildflowers, designed with Ben Scott Garden Design to bloom at different times as the seasons change.

pink architecture commission in Melbourne in 2021

NGV Architecture Commission.

(Image credit: Derek Swalwell)

The striking pink hue is a reference to Victoria’s inland salt lakes. While visitors to the architectural garden are encouraged to wade through the pond, which holds about 45,000 litres of water, and take pleasure in this temporary oasis, the designers’ intention is for people to also consider the scarcity and political implications of water. According to the design team, ‘the way in which we have mismanaged and misused our land and water systems throughout Australia has seen a dramatic increase in extreme weather events, unprecedented drought, rising temperatures and ocean levels, and more recently, catastrophic bushfires'.

After the installation is removed, in October 2022, the materials used in its construction are to be distributed and reused by various Landcare, Indigenous, and community groups.

pink architecture pavilion project in melbourne with a child in the middle of the image

NGV Architecture Commission. 

(Image credit: Derek Swalwell)

close up detail of the 2021 MPavilion by MAP

The 2021 MPavilion by MAP studio. 

(Image credit: Anthony Richardson)

INFORMATION

mpavilion.org (opens in new tab)

ngv.vic.gov.au (opens in new tab)