Since 2014, MPavilion has been Australia's leading architecture and design commission, attracting worldwide attention and bringing some of the most exciting architects from home and abroad to this city of ours. Founded by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation — a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to initiating and supporting great examples of public design, architecture and culture — MPavilion is now open for its biggest year yet.
Located in Queen Victoria Gardens from Tuesday, October 3 until Sunday, February 4, MPavilion creates a free and open space that encourages coming together inside a beautiful setting. Each annual iteration of MPavilion sees a new architect commissioned to produce a stunning pavilion, with each designer bringing his or her own unique style and ideas to the project.
Behind this year's design is legendary Dutch 'starchitects' Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of architecture firm OMA. For the uninitiated, Koolhaas has been awarded the Pritzker Prize — essentially the Nobel Prize of architecture — while being described as "the world's most controversial architect" and designing celebrated buildings the world over. Meanwhile, Gianotten is an architectural superstar in his own right, becoming a core part of OMA in recent years and overseeing the firm's expansion into Asia Pacific.
And this year's design matches the duo's impressive resumes. Described by Gianotten as a "living room looking into the garden of the city", the architects have designed a pavilion that blurs the lines between inside and out, one that is reconfigurable and obscures the distinction between audience and performer. Taking its cues from natural amphitheatres, the pavilion is warm, bright and open, and provides the perfect way to take in Melbourne's skyline. There's coffee and a bar on-site, making it the ideal place to stop by and see what's going on.
"This year's pavilion reflects OMA's interest in the concept of inside-outside design and conversing with the city, so it's been very exciting to have them involved," Milgrom explains. "It's an open brief, so it's all about what the architect feels is perfect for the pavilion."
Images: John Gollings.