Opening of Tadao Ando’s MPavilion | ArchitectureAU
Naomi Milgrom The Foundation has opened the 10th MPavilion structure in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens, designed by Japanese architect and 1995 Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando, and executive architect Sean Goodsell.
The MPavilion is Ando’s first project in Australia and is distinguished by its distinctive geometric form and use of concrete.
The installation consists of two right-angled concrete walls, spaced apart to form a square with two entrances.
A central circular concrete column supports a 14.4-metre-long aluminum-covered canopy. A concrete bench along the south wall provides seating, while a shallow pool in the northern half of the room creates a reflective water feature. Local bluestone paving is used in the pavilion floor.
The pavilion is located on the axis of the pedestrian crossing adjacent to Queen Victoria Gardens. Ando creates an orderly, sequential journey from the edge of the gardens to the pavilion wall where the entrance is then revealed on the right.
The interior of the pavilion is reminiscent of a traditional Japanese walled garden. Two open slits in the north and south walls, spanning 17 meters and self-supporting, offer glimpses of the gardens beyond.
The pavilion also subtly delineates the surrounding gardens with a glimpse of the overhanging branches of a nearby plain tree.
In a statement provided to Sean Goodsell, Tadao Ando said: “Here in Melbourne, I imagined an architecture that could inspire people to recognize the splendor of the nature around it – a pavilion where sky, water and people become one and dialogue is fostered beyond the boundaries. From the pavilion and into the garden. I hope that People in Melbourne and across Australia reflect on the nature of architecture culture through the experience here.
Naomi Milgrom, who commissions the annual MPavilion, said: “Tadao Ando has designed a distinctive new destination in Melbourne, which will serve as a contemplative space, a temporary refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city, and as a dynamic site for creative discovery and active discussion for those who attend our public programme.
As with all previous MPavilion structures, the Ando Pavilion is designed to be dismantled at the end of its life in the gardens and transported to a permanent home. The aluminum clad canopy is prefabricated at the factory and can be easily disassembled and reassembled elsewhere. The bluestone paving is similar to the pavilion designed by Bijoy Jain (2016) which was transported to Melbourne Zoo.
The concrete walls, made using a green concrete mix, can be demolished and reused as aggregate, to be reworked at a future site, Goodsell said.
The MPavilion will open on November 16, kicking off a five-month program of more than 150 events.