A fresh architectural marvel is about to grace Melbourne’s cityscape as the Naomi Milgrom Foundation reveals the design for the tenth MPavilion by none other than Japan’s Tadao Ando, a distinguished Pritzker Prize winner
This announcement marks the eminent architect’s debut project in Australia, and the anticipation is palpable. The MPavilion 10, the newest addition to Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Gardens, is a perfect reflection of Ando’s trademark blend of meticulous geometric interplays and use of concrete. This bold structure will serve as the canvas for a free five-month design festival that commences this summer, inviting the city’s residents and visitors to engage with innovative design and architecture.
The MPavilion 10 design is a tranquil oasis in the midst of the bustling city, a new meeting place that seamlessly blends into the vibrant arts precinct of Melbourne. It cleverly fuses geometric shapes and natural surroundings, creating a serene space that resonates with the beauty of the Queen Victoria Gardens.
The design features a prominent canopy, a large aluminium-clad disc poised on a central concrete column, with two offset squares forming the entrances. Concrete walls of varying lengths partially encase the space, lending a touch of serenity akin to a traditional Japanese garden. A long horizontal slit along the north and south walls offers a stunning view of the Melbourne skyline and parklands, subtly linking the greenery to the pavilion’s interior.
Ando’s design vision for the MPavilion 10 was to create a timeless experience within Melbourne’s garden haven. He envisions a structure that allows light and breeze to animate the space, a place where visitors can connect with the natural world and engage in endless dialogue.
Naomi Milgrom AC, commissioner of MPavilion, expressed her excitement, stating that Ando’s architecture dramatically changes our perception of the world around us. She looks forward to the public’s response to this serene space and the creativity it will undoubtedly inspire.
Overseeing the MPavilion 10’s construction is local architect Sean Godsell, a significant collaboration bridging Japanese and Australian architects, engineers and builders. The project underscores the enduring bond between Melbourne and its sister city, Osaka, where Ando’s office is based.
Since its inception in 2014, the MPavilion has been a buzzing cultural hub, hosting free public events, including talks, workshops, music and dance performances, and more. The upcoming five-month festival promises to continue this tradition, making the MPavilion a significant contributor to Melbourne’s vibrant cultural life.
Interested parties are invited to submit their proposals for the tenth season’s programming. Three themes inspired by Ando’s design have been announced: A Blank Canvas, Craftsmanship, and Memories of Place. The deadline for submissions is 5pm, Wednesday, 14 June 2023.
The MPavilion is an enduring initiative by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, supported by the Victorian Government, Creative Victoria, the City of Melbourne, ANZ and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Each year, at the end of the festival, the MPavilion is gifted to the people of Victoria and relocated to a permanent location within the community. This commitment to public life and social interaction has firmly established MPavilion as a must-visit annual design event.