Light Zone: MPavilion 2022

MPavilion exists as an idea of architectural form, envisioned in reality and temporary in place, functional in its existence and always extant somewhere.

The idea of MPavilion was first realised in 2014 by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, a nonprofit organisation whose focus is on openly accessible art and architecture for the Australian public. Each year a chosen architectural firm is commissioned to design the next MPavilion and have their work for five months be the standout feature of the Queen Victoria Gardens, opposite the National Gallery of Victoria in the area which is home to Melbourne’s art and cultural precinct. For 2022 the commissioned pavilion was created by Bangkok based architectural studio All(zone) with their three layer fabric design. Scattered light reminiscent of that dappled by the surrounding oak trees dances on the ground below the triple layer canopy of a fishing net mesh laid over a waterproof conical ‘shade-cloth’ made from polyarylate by French composite fabric manufacturer Serge Ferrari, providing the pavilion with a layer of protection from the elements. Underneath the final layer consists of a light fabric ‘waffle’ which ripples softly in the breeze. The design is a testament that functional architecture need not be static.

MPavilion serves as more than just a visual experience, it also has purpose and is home to weekly changing art and cultural events for the entire period of which it exists within its space in the gardens. Seating comes in the form of both raised benches and translucent zero-waste stools by Canberra Design Lab. The suitably named Re-pete stool is 3D printed from recycled PET or r-PET. Its rigid structure of hard angles for strength form each stool into a singular piece rolled and shaped around itself, softened by the organic waves that undulate across the stool’s body, scattering any light passing through into reflections and shapes over the floor’s surface. It must be understood that sustainability and reuse is of just as high importance as the initial purpose and so each pavilion is created with the knowledge that although it exists temporary in place, it isn’t temporary in existence and the ability to easily relocate the work elsewhere is as necessary to the design as the design itself. Portability is a must, as come each season drawing to a close the space in the gardens is freed up for the next work with each former MPavilion moved to a new more permanent home somewhere within the city to continue being utilised and enjoyed, extant.


2 thoughts on “Light Zone: MPavilion 2022

  1. M Pavilion is quite an investment each year and as I pass by more than a dozen times a week, it’s very unused. It’s Ms Sussan Sportsgirl’s money but it could be better spent.

    Her foundation was responsible for the removal of annual flowering plants along the path in the gardens, taking over the beds with ‘meaningful’ boring plants instead of brightly coloured flowers.

    Your photos are of course magnificent. We would expect nothing less, but it is hard for me to get past the super rich woman in her Middle Park high walled compound.

    1. I absolutely understand where you’re coming from, it is quite the investment and if they were simply removed with no plan for their future I would feel the same, fortunately they’re reused and are somewhat future proof.

      I admit I wasn’t aware of the plant removal by the foundation, I don’t mind the native plants there now but I do recall the more colourful earlier plantings, I think if anything I just assumed that was a council choice.

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