Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA have unveiled the 2017 MPavilion, the fourth annual architect-designed summer pavilion for Melbourne. Together with hundreds of creative collaborators, both Australian and international, MPavilion presents a free, four-month program of events through February 4, 2018.
"It is a rare and privileged opportunity to have Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA design MPavilion 2017, and a remarkable coup for MPavilion to be their first completed commission in Australia," commented Naomi Milgrom AO, chair of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, who commissioned Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten to design MPavilion 2017. "Rem and David's profound vision and insight has resulted in an extraordinary pavilion for Melbourne."
"Our design for MPavilion 2017 is intended to provoke all kinds of activities through its configurable nature and a materiality that relates to its direct surroundings," Koolhaas and Gianotten stated. "We are happy that MPavilion can perform as a theatre of debate around the city and its development, and contribute to the ongoing civic discourse of Melbourne."
Inspired by ancient amphitheatres and embraced by a hill of native plants, MPavilion 2017 is shaped by two tiered grandstands-one fixed and the other moveable-and covered by a floating roof structure. The rotating grandstand allows interaction from all angles and for the pavilion to open up to the garden and broader cityscape. Overhead, a two-metre-deep gridded, machine-like canopy with a protective translucent roof embeds advanced lighting technology for the series of free public events. Comprising static and dynamic elements, the 19×19-metre aluminium clad structure allows for multiple configurations that can generate unexpected programming, echoing the ideals of the typology of the traditional amphitheater.
MPavilion 2017 is designed as both a temporary summer pavilion and an enduring architectural creation. At the end of each season MPavilion is moved to a permanent new home within Melbourne's CBD, creating an ongoing legacy in Melbourne's increasingly sophisticated architectural landscape.
Photography: John Gollings