Check out the huge new sculptural pavilion coming to Melbourne

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Check out the huge new sculptural pavilion coming to Melbourne

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The ninth MPavilion design has been revealed: a striking canopied structure set to bring the Queen Victoria Gardens to life from Thursday 17 November 2022. 

The Naomi Milgrom Foundation has today released the design for its ninth MPavilion 2022 by Bangkok-based architecture and design practice all(zone) led by internationally-acclaimed architect Rachaporn Choochuey.

Experimenting with materials and forms being used for the first time in Australia, all(zone) has designed a unique space for MPavilion’s program, heading into its ninth season later this year as an intriguing part of the city’s cultural calendar.

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The MPavilion will be made from layers of bespoke, coloured nets and architectural fabrics with a waterproof membrane often seen in stadiums. The membrane layer is a lightweight mesh supplied by French manufacturer Serge Ferrari that’s as transparent as glass but 10 times lighter.

This barely-visible mesh, being used for the first time in Australia, allows light and colour to shine through the MPavilion while keeping the structure weather-proof and minimising its impact on the environment.

Naomi Milgrom – who’s foundation funds the annual sculptural commission – said: “We’re so excited to work with all(zone) and Rachaporn. Her unique vision rethinks how design can impact our ways of living and the environment, and her work will require audiences to think more deeply about different ways of using materials in a sustainable future.

“Our goal with MPavilion has always been to create an enduring space for people to think and imagine the impact architecture and design can have on one’s life. More than ever we need fresh ideas that force us to be brave.”

Choochuey added: “After being confined for such a long time, we began the project with the idea of celebrating ‘outdoor living’. We visualised rays of light flickering through layers of leaves that give a very relaxing ambience—like being under a big tree. We wanted MPavilion to be a place where people could meet, enjoy and live in the moment freely. In a world where we increasingly encounter a shortage of resources and ever-changing social conditions, the lifespan of architecture in relation to its materiality should be reinvestigated. The intent of our design for MPavilion is to explore the potential of architecture to embrace a lighter and more casual spirit, and become even more sustainable and engaging.”

Specialist engineering consultancy TENSYS worked with all(zone) and AECOM to apply the innovative tensile membrane to the MPavilion’s design. “Such efforts required pushing the limits of the physically and technologically possible, reimagining materials from across the globe in new and innovative ways,” said Peter Lim, TENSYS director.

At the close of the season, all(zone)’s MPavilion 2022 will be relocated to a permanent home to be used by the community and will be the eighth MPavilion gifted to the public by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. Previously gifted MPavilions can be visited at various locations around the city: MPavilion 2014 by Sean Godsell at the Hellenic Museum (now modified); MPavilion 2015 by Amanda Levete at Docklands; MPavilion 2016 by Bijoy Jain at Melbourne Zoo; MPavilion 2017 by OMA at Monash University Clayton Campus; and MPavilion 2019 by Glenn Murcutt at the University of Melbourne.

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