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MPavilion Is Turning the Parkade Car Park Into a Cultural Hub for the Entire Month of January

The 60s and 70s-era site will get a new lease on life to start off the new year.
By Sarah Ward
December 02, 2020
By Sarah Ward
December 02, 2020

Each year since 2014, Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens has scored an impressive new addition, all thanks to MPavilion. When the end of each year rolls around, a new, specially commissioned temporary structure has popped up to host a summer-long festival of free events — with the pavilion itself designed by a top architect, and the accompanying community-focused cultural program covering talks, workshops, performances and installations that highlight design as well.

In 2020, however, something different is happening. Yes, that's an easy way to sum up this strange and chaotic year in general; however, for MPavilion, it means that a new structure hasn't been commissioned. Instead, in a decision made in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is activating the six pavilions from previous years rather than build something new. That was announced back in June but, in a new revelation, MPavilion has just advised that it'll also be taking up residency at the CBD's Parkade Car Park, too, in line with its 'adaptive reuse' focus for the year.

Come January 2021 — with MPavilion running through until March — Melburnians will be able to head to 34 Little Collins Street for live music gigs, interactive installations, events focused on architecture and design, and school holiday workshops for kids and families. The Parkade Car Park will host MPavilion shenanigans seven days a week throughout the month, giving the Peter McIntyre-designed 60s and 70s-era site a new lease on life to start off the year.

If the residency has you thinking about ways that existing spaces can be repurposed, that's a big part of the point. MPavilion focuses on a different theme each month, with January dedicated to 'Preservation: Propagating Knowledge' — and also featuring everything from circus architectural film screenings curated by architect and filmmaker Toby Reed to a roller disco. There's also a concert for dogs (and humans, of course), in collaboration with Melbourne Music Week.

If you're still keen on checking out MPavilion's 2019 white lantern-like piece by Glenn Murcutt, its 2018s floating geometric building from Spanish architect Carme Pinós, 2017's inside-outside contemporary take on the ancient amphitheatre by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, and 2016's huge bamboo structure from Indian architect Bijoy Jain — and Amanda Levete's forest-esque 2015 piece and Sean Godsell's 2014 creation as well — they're spread around different locations across the city until Sunday, March 21, 2021.

And, as for what else is on the program, exploring both physical and virtual social spaces in December's spotlight — while February will highlight relationships of all kinds, and March will wrap things up with a month of temporal experimentation.

MPavilion takes place around Melbourne until Sunday, March 21, 2021 — and will take up residency at the Parkade Car Park, 34 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, throughout January. For further details, head to the event's website.

Images: Timothy Burgess.

Published on December 02, 2020 by Sarah Ward


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