2015 MPavilion design commission announced

amanda_levete_architectAward-­winning British architect Amanda Levete has been announced as the designer of the second MPavilion to be presented in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens from October.

“I have long admired the work of Amanda Levete and am proud she will design the 2015 MPavilion,” says Naomi Milgrom AO, founder of the MPavilion series. “I first noticed Amanda’s work in the retail environment and was deeply impressed by her radical response to the department store model with the extraordinary Selfridges store in Birmingham in 2003.”

“I met Amanda in 2009 -­ when she was a guest of the Melbourne Fashion Festival -­ and have watched her practice grow and take on ever more ambitious projects that explore new materials, new techniques and new ways to approach architecture. I share her desire to ignite cultural impact and urban renewal through architecture.”

Architect Amanda Levete is the founder of AL_A, and has created a practice widely regarded as laying down the agenda for architecture in the twenty-­first century. Projects include the highly anticipated expansion of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Stirling Prize-­winning Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground and Comme des Garcons stores in New York, Paris and Tokyo.

Commenting on her commission, Levete said: “I’ve visited Australia three times in the past six years and without doubt Melbourne is my favourite city. It’s people who make a city creative – and that’s why I love Melbourne.”

“The brief from the Naomi Milgrom Foundation is a great opportunity to design a structure that responds to its climate and landscape. I’m interested in exploiting the temporary nature of the pavilion form to produce a design that speaks in response to the weather.”

“Rooting the pavilion in its parkland setting, I am seeking to create the sensation of a forest canopy in the heart of the city that gives shelter to a program of events. We have a long history of working with boat builders and Australia has some of the finest. We’re working with a yacht fabricator to employ the boundary-­pushing technology of composite materials to create the canopy.”

In its first year, MPavilion partnered with more than 130 creative collaborators, including 31 educational and cultural organisations. The inaugural Sean Godsell-­designed MPavilion – gifted to the City of Melbourne by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation – will be relocated to a new permanent home in the gardens of the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne’s CBD.

Speaking at the Hellenic Museum at the announcement of the 2015 MPavilion architect commission, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “The arrival of the inaugural MPavilion was a welcome addition to Melbourne’s cultural landscape -­ and proved to be a great success on many levels.”

“MPavilion is a space for creativity, collaboration and conversation, one that celebrates the many strands of design thinking in the creative industries. After an invigorating debut, I look forward to seeing what the 2015 pavilion will bring.”

Initiated last year by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with support from the City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government, MPavilion is a unique architectural commission and design event. The MPavilion project is an outcome of a collaborative approach and philanthropic partnerships.

“The 2015 MPavilion will be a very different temporary pavilion for the beautiful Queen Victoria Gardens,” said Naomi Milgrom AO. “Our commission and four-­month program of free events allows Melbourne to connect with the best local and international architects, and creative minds. Amanda has designed a thought provoking space for the public to enjoy throughout summer.”

MPavilion 2015 will run from 5 October 2015 until 7 February 2016, with the public program due to be announced in August. For more information, visit: www.mpavilion.org for details.

Image: Amanda Levete – photo by Peter Guenzel