The inaugural MPavilion has been unveiled in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens, the first in a major new series of annual architecture commissions and design events initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.
The official opening was commemorated with a new composition by Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta soprano, educator and Artistic Director of Australia’s national Indigenous company Short Black Opera.
Ms Cheetham composed a celebratory and welcoming new song titled Long Journey Boon Wurrung, composed in Boon Wurrung language in consultation with elder, Aunty Carolyne. The song was specially performed by the Dhungala Children’s Choir from regional Victoria at the opening, conducted by Ms Cheetham and accompanied by the Federation Bells.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Sean Godsell, the contemporary pavilion will be brought to life over its four-month presentation into a vibrant cultural hub activated by a diverse and engaging public program – all offered free to the public. From now until February, visitors will have the chance to engage with a dynamic program of 20 talks, 28 workshops, 18 music events, 14 film screenings, 7 walking and bike tours, 4 art interventions, 2 dance performances and much more..
On MPavilion, Mr Godsell said: “The MPavilion is a simple steel structure with glazed roof and fully automated outer skin. It provides shade and shelter and filters the sun. Its precedent can be seen on distant hills and far horizons in the Australian outback.”
“The design incorporates an innovative construction with wall and roof panels that open and close on pneumatic arms. This fully automated ‘outer skin’ means that the pavilion will ‘open’ each morning and ‘close’ at the end of the day in a number of different configurations. Its exterior is perforated aluminium that reflects light and animates the building. Conceived as architecture that ‘blooms like a flower’ each day and opens to its audience, it also has a mysterious box-like quality at night.”
MPavilion is the first major project to be delivered by the recently established Naomi Milgrom Foundation. As part of a landmark public/private partnership with the City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government, the Foundation has committed to funding the design and construction of at least four annual temporary pavilions to be presented in the Gardens across spring and summer each year, before gifting the pavilion to the City of Melbourne.
Naomi Milgrom AO, Chair of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, said: “MPavilion will reinforce Melbourne’s standing as a global leader in design and architecture with the creation of a pavilion designed by four outstanding architects over four years.”
“Through my foundation I want to initiate a truly inspirational design and architecture project for Melbourne with an enduring legacy. I was inspired by London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and have sought to take this idea further by adding a robust cultural program that celebrates design, architecture and creativity in our city.”
MPavilion runs until 1 February 2015 For more information and complete program, visit: www.mpavilion.org for details.
Image: MPavilion – photo by Earl Carter