2021 MPavilion Design
The seventh MPavilion in an ongoing series, the geometric, kaleidoscopic design of MPavilion 2021—‘The LightCatcher’— has been envisioned as an urban lighthouse, set to illuminate MPavilion’s diverse program of free cultural events over the summer.
MAP studio—an architecture, urbanism and design practice based in Venice, Italy—is renowned for responding to existing sites in a sensitive and celebratory way. This approach has been especially poignant as MPavilion 2021 returns to its original home in the Queen Victoria Gardens.
A project more than two years in the making, the MPavilion by MAP studio was originally slated for construction in 2020, with progress postponed as the world responded to the COVID-19 crisis. The Naomi Milgrom Foundation is delighted that MAP studio’s MPavilion can now come to fruition.
Commenting on their MPavilion design, Traudy Pelzel said: “The structure we imagine is a shimmering device that qualifies itself as an urban lighthouse that hosts and enlightens the cultural activities planned for the 2021 summer season in Melbourne….A kaleidoscopic structure that reflects and amplifies activities, people and colours. For this reason, we call it ‘The Lightcatcher.’”
The MPavilion design comprises a reticular steel structure in galvanized and painted tubular profiles that support a set of panels in a mirror-finish aluminium coating, reflecting light, colours, activities and people who will use the space. These surfaces will also function as shading elements. The MPavilion 2021 structure appears to float above the ground level on a coloured, organic-shaped surface.
MAP studio’s design has inspired MPavilion’s program themes for its 2021/22 season of free events and will open in the Queen Victoria Gardens, Southbank Arts Precinct, from 12 November 2021 until 27 March 2022.
Taking on a second life, at the end of each season the MPavilion is then gifted by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation to the public. Becoming a legacy of esteemed architect-designed pavilions for the state of Victoria, the series enables design awareness to continue in new communities for years to come.
The project for the temporary MPavilion 2021 pavilion, commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, explores the condition of temporary architectural structure as a powerful attractor and indicator of the creative and dynamic quality of the city of Melbourne, as previous editions have amply demonstrated.
The structure we are imagining – a solution chosen with the team of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation among five preliminary design schemes, developed in July 2019 – is a kind of lantern that in its geometric abstraction wants to qualify as an urban lighthouse that iluminates and hosts the community cultural activities planned for the 2021 summer season in Melbourne. For all these reasons we imagined that the pavilion could be called ‘The Light Catcher’.
The pavilion is composed of a reticular steel structure in galvanized and painted tubular profiles that support a set of panels in aluminium mirror finishing that reflect light, activities and people who will use this space. All these surfaces will function partially as shading elements.
The three-dimensional mesh, based on 2x2x2 square modules that configure a base of 12 metres side (6 modules) and a volume of 6 metres high (3 modules), overall covers an area of 144 sqm.
The structure defines inside a hollow space of 64 sqm and 6.4 metres high from the ground level that floats on a coloured, organic, rubber surface. The three-dimensional mesh is supported by four supports in prefabricated reinforced concrete, that in force of the particular U-shaped form and smooth edge, can be used also as a sitting place.
A small circular kiosk hosts a useful space to shelter kiosk carts or mobile seats and be potential support for any specific activities. In this pandemic period, the pavilion is thought of as a stage around which people gather to attend events and shows.
The pavilion’s geometric abstraction characteristics qualify it as a container designed to host a multiplicity of ever-changing events, such as variations of the light that it will be able to reflect. The Light Catcher proposes itself as an urban sign of the consolidated role of civic place of meeting and inspiration that distinguishes the MPavilion in Queen Victoria Gardens. Moreover, through a system of permeable ground supports that qualify itself as a habitable device in different ways that the intense program and the different types of events will require.
The pavilion is designed as a temporary structure that, through the use of prefabricated components, can be easily relocated and can guarantee a life cycle of 20 years in accordance with the indications of the brief.