MPavilion Opens

John Hill
7. October 2015
Photo: John Gollings

Yesterday the second MPavilion, designed by AL_A, the firm of British architect Amanda Levete, opened to the public in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens.

AL_A's design is made up of thin, lightweight "petals" fitted with LED lights and propped upon slender columns. Meant to move with breezes and resemble a forest canopy in their grouping, the petals are illuminated at night, synchronized to music as part of the MPavilion's myriad programs; the opening ceremony included a performance by yorta yorta soprano Deborah Cheetham.

AL_A's pavilion comes one year after the inaugural MPavilion designed by Australian architect Sean Godsell. Like that pavilion's six-month stint, the second MPavilion's run is accompanied by more than 200 free events in collaboration with more than 200 arts organizations, architects and designers from Melbourne and elsewhere.

Amanda Levete explained the design in a statement:

Our Pavilion is a celebration of those natural shelters where we come together and we have achieved an exceptionally light, open structure that sits gently on the land and allows the light, the wind, and sometimes the rain, to form part of the show. It is designed to provide a contemplative, personal experience as well as a place to congregate. 

Composite technology has revolutionized engineering industries such as aerospace and has the potential to do the same for construction. The use of composites enables structures of unprecedented lightness combined with great strength and the potential applications in architecture are tantalizingly unexplored. Composites are particularly exciting for AL_A because the sector is propelled by research into new techniques and processes that in turn give rise to new formal and expressive possibilities for us to discover. 
MPavilion 2015 is on display in Queen Victoria Gardens until 7 February 2016.

Photo: John Gollings
Photo: John Gollings
Photo: John Gollings
Photo: John Gollings

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