2022 MPavilion Design
We are proud to reveal the ninth MPavilion by Bangkok-based architecture and design practice all(zone) led by internationally-acclaimed architect Rachaporn Choochuey: a striking canopied structure set to bring the Queen Victoria Gardens to life from Thursday 17 November 2022.
Experimenting with materials and forms being used for the first time in Australia, all(zone) has designed a unique and stimulating space for people to interact with MPavilion’s thought-provoking and diverse program, heading into its ninth season as a pivotal part of the city’s cultural calendar.
Commenting on their MPavilion design, Rachaporn Choochuey said: “After being confined for such a long time, we began the project with the idea of celebrating ‘outdoor living’. We visualised rays of light flickering through layers of leaves that give a very relaxing ambience—like being under a big tree. We wanted MPavilion to be a place where people could meet, enjoy and live in the moment freely.”
The MPavilion will be made from layers of bespoke, coloured nets and architectural fabrics with a waterproof membrane often seen in stadiums. The membrane layer is a cutting-edge lightweight mesh supplied by French manufacturer Serge Ferrari that is as transparent as glass but 10 times lighter. This barely-visible mesh, being used for the first time in Australia, allows light and colour to shine through the MPavilion while keeping the structure weather-proof and minimising its impact on the environment.
all(zone)’s design has inspired MPavilion’s program themes for its 2022/23 season of free events and will open in the Queen Victoria Gardens on 17 November 2022.
At the close of the season, all(zone)’s MPavilion 2022 will be relocated to a permanent home to be used by the community and will be the eighth MPavilion gifted to the public by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.
The MPavilion is a very unique commission. It is a temporary structure in Queen Victoria Gardens for about five months, before being gifted to the city by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and relocated to a permanent home. While the structure has to be light and temporary, it also has to serve a series of unprecedented conditions in its second life. It should be adaptive with the very minimum elements of architecture while offering a unique experience for its visitors.
After being confined for a long time during the pandemic, and with the MPavilion situated in the heart of Melbourne—where the lockdown period was the longest—we began the project with the idea to ‘celebrate outdoor living.’ Architecture should perform with its minimum form while offering connections to the dynamic movement of nature—like being under a big tree with relaxing rays of light flickering through the layers of leaves. It should be a place where people casually meet, enjoy, and live in the moment. A place where people can come by to read books, have coffee, listen to music, participate in morning Yoga, or just pass by to see if anything is going on—like visiting a good friend who is always home.
We chose to work with fabric to create a ‘light’ environment. Through the development process, with a lot of input from the marvellous engineer teams at Tensys and AECOM, we finally reached the three integrated layers of fabric.
The fishing net roof gives the transparent profile of the pavilion from far away. The transparent membrane in the middle catches the rain. Then the waffle of colour fabric is a ceiling, hung loosely to allow movement in the breezy air.
In short, our version of the MPavilion is a light structure, a minimum form of architecture to house the public life of the city while being lively, colourful, and fun. In a world where we encounter a shortage of resources and ever-changing social conditions, the lifespan of architecture should be reinvestigated and expanded to consider a wider range of materials and building methods. As life does not last forever, why should our buildings? The MPavilion intends to explore the aspect of architecture that could embrace a lighter and more casual spirit to become even more sustainable and engaging.
MPavilion is one of the most exciting projects we have ever worked on. In addition to the creative visions of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, the entire team is really passionate and committed to excellence regardless of the size of the project. Everyone is a powerful collaborative engine pushing every step forward with infinite energy. It has been really fun and intense. We are very happy and honoured to be working in such an environment.