Beginning this week, Melbourne’s MPavilion welcomes a program of events to be staged across four months, some of which have been devised through the hub’s call for proposals from the public for the first time.
This year’s MPavilion has been designed by OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), the Netherlands-based architecture firm founded by Pritzker-prize winning architect Rem Koolhaas and partners in 1975. Completed alongside one of OMA’s nine firm partners, David Gianotten, the MPavilion design has been commissioned as part of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation’s ongoing commitment to erect a temporary structure each year in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens, providing a space for public debate, events and workshops in design, music, art and performance. You may also be familiar with OMA’s work with Miuccia Prada, who collaborates each season with OMA’s research and design studio, AMO, on the scenography of the designer’s show space at Milan’s gilded Fondazione Prada.
The occasion marks the first time OMA and Koolhaas, a professor at Harvard University, have broken ground in Australia. The design is comprised of a circular amphitheatre with two tiered grandstands (one fixed, one pivoting to open the space up) enveloped by a hill of twelve different species of native plants, above which floats a two-metre deep, translucent canopy made of aluminium-clad steel that is able to be activated in line with the event taking place beneath it.
The structure, which had its official opening earlier this week, will house an eclectic program of free public events until February 2018. The program commences with a series of events involving Koolhaas and Gianotten, before welcoming a series of international guests including London-based architect Jack Self, director of the REAL Foundation, a platform that promotes alternative models of ownership; South African photographer, videographer and artist Candice Breitz, who will appear in conversation with curator Natalie King to discuss her artistic career and the dynamics between identification, community and global culture; London-based designers-come-artists Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner of Soft Baroque, who will contribute to the MProjects installation series; New-York based architect Elizabeth Diller, a founding partner of New-York based Diller Scofidio + Renfro; the Albanian contemporary artist Anri Sala and Singaporean artist Sam Lo, who will also stage a spatial intervention during the program’s opening weeks.
MPAVILION’S PROGRAM OF FREE EVENTS IS OPEN NOW TO THE PUBLIC AND WILL RUN UNTIL SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2018. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION HERE.
Tile and cover image: Courtesy of MPavilion/Agnieszka Chabros