Reactivating AL_A’s 2015 MPavilion for season 2020
“What are the limits of architecture? When does it become so ephemeral that it threatens to drift away? What if the pieces are so peculiar that they can’t be built by regular means? What if the ideas that shape it have little grounding in history? These are the questions posed by AL_A’s MPavilion. A structure so light and transparent as to be barely there, and yet one which can ultimately point toward a new path for architecture’s future.”
– Dr. Rory Hyde
Once nestled in the Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, our second MPavilion—designed by AL_A, the studio of award-winning British architect Amanda Levete—was gifted to the City of Melbourne by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation at the close of MPavilion’s 2015 season.
The tree-inspired, tech-utopian canopy now resides in Docklands Park, at the corner of Collins Street and Harbour Esplanade, Docklands. And now, after five years of serving the people of Melbourne as an open meeting place in that location, Amanda Levete’s pavilion is set to rejoin the official MPavilion program again.
As one of the six reanimated pavilions of seasons past—including Sean Godsell’s 2014 pavilion, Bijoy Jain’s 2016 pavilion, Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten’s 2017 pavilion, Carme Pinós’s 2018 pavilion, and Glenn Murcutt AO’s 2019 pavilion—AL_A’s pavilion will be part of a radical reimagining of the usual way that MPavilion’s programming unfolds.
In 2020, MPavilion is responding to a year of immense global and local change by adapting its operation to be more accessible to more Melburnians. Instead of building a new structure, MPavilion 2020 will prioritise an expanded program that supports local designers and artists by reusing its six original pavilions.
As part of that expanded program, the AL_A pavilion in Docklands will host a portion of the talks, workshops, digital events and more scheduled to take place across the six pavilions from 12 November 2020 to 21 March 2021.
“As architects, we look at nature, and it’s almost done. The complexity, the beauty, the diversity. It’s impossible to beat it…The challenge, then, is to use completely man-made technology, man-made materials, and invest it with something that feels natural, poetic.” – Amanda Levete
Have you explored this MPavilion website? Take a look through our menu bar to discover a wealth of articles, recordings, videos and more from past MPavilion seasons—including the original, active websites from those seasons themselves. To celebrate the re-launch of AL_A’s MPavilion for our upcoming 2020 program, we’ve unearthed some highlights from the 2015 season:
- The Making of MPavilion 2015
- Future Cities: Aboriginal Knowledge
- Parlour Presents: Women Transforming the City
- Reading: Shaun Tan & John Marsden’s ‘The Rabbits’
- Technics & Touch: Body-Matter-Machine:
- The School of Life Presents: The Wisdom of Mind Sciences
The quotes in this article come from Dr. Rory Hyde’s essay The Limits of Architecture, taken from MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture. Published by Thames & Hudson, and designed by Studio Ongarato, the book will be available for purchase from the Naomi Milgrom Foundation website from Tuesday 18 August.