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Southbank meets MPavilion 2017

12 Oct 2017

Southbank meets MPavilion 2017 Image

By Chelsea Cucinotta

On Monday October 2, MPavilion 2017 was officially unveiled in the Queen Victoria Gardens.

The opening included a performance by Yorta Yorta soprano Deborah Cheetham with the Dhungala Children’s Choir.

MPavilion founder Naomi Milgrom, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle were among those in attendance.

Having founded MPavilion four years ago, Milgrom spoke about its importance as a community centre and saw the space as enabling “great architecture and design in Melbourne”.

This year’s design is characterised by two-tier grandstands. One of these is fixed and the other is moveable. Covered by a floating roof structure, the space comes together in the style of an amphitheatre and can be configured to suit different event programs.

Ms Milgrom said the space would feed “the city’s voracious appetite for culture”. This concept of culture was also addressed by OMA architects Koolhaas and Gianotten.

“[The pavilion is a] tool for you to discuss the future of your city ... to discover another culture and to be active in another culture,” said Koolhaas, whose last visit to Australia was over 40 years ago.

In response to Melbourne’s status as the world’s most liveable city, Gianotten raised important questions regarding the role of community.

“Can you give citizens a voice in the development? And how do you do that?” he said.

“MPavilion is one way to encourage community interaction and, according to Gianotten, it functions as a kind of “living room in the garden”.

With nearly 90,000 visitors to last year’s site, it is expected that close to 100,000 people will visit the new pavilion.

The legacy of each space lives on, with last year’s structure having been relocated to Melbourne Zoo.

This year’s pavilion will also be given a permanent home in the inner city after its four-month season.

While Cr Doyle said that this year’s space was the most intimate so far, he also commented on the openness that the amphitheatre encourages through its spacious design.

Between October 2017 and February 2018, MPavilion will host a rich and diverse program of free public events, including talks, tours, musical performances and art installations.

Highlights include Morning Stories with N’Arweet (Elder) Carolyn Briggs and twilight performances with Philip Brophy’s Stadium: A Neo-Tokyo Terrasound Cosmophony.

For more information visit mpavilion.org

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