Inaugural MPavilion 2014

The Hellenic Museum is the new home for the 2014 MPavilion designed by Sean Godsell.

The 2014 MPavilion – designed by award-winning architect Sean Godsell – incorporates elements of ancient Greek design as well as being inspired by iconic outback sheds and verandas. Its move to the Museum courtyard will add another cultural layer to the heritage-listed site, contrasting past with present, and Australian design with Greek architectural influences.

The addition of the MPavilion to the Museum will act as an inspiration for future arts programming.

From 6 October – ongoing.

The MPavilion is available for your next event, for more information, please contact the Hellenic Museum team on 8615 9016.

Photos by Earl Carter


MPavilion Walk

Sean Godsell’s inaugural MPavilion 2014 has a new, permanent address! The fully automated, blossoming structure lives on in the courtyard at the Hellenic Museum, corner William and Latrobe streets.

Photo by John Gollings

Now that MPavilion’s Queen Victoria Gardens site is home to the 2015 commission designed by Britain’s Amanda Levete —AL_A’s forest canopy of translucent fibreglass and carbon fibre petals—architecture fans are invited to do the ‘MPavilion Walk’ between the two pavilions. Or (if you prefer to enjoy buildings without burning calories) take a tram from either location.

MPavilion aims to spark discussion of the role of architecture and design in the city. A unique architecture commission and design event for Melbourne, it was initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with support from the City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government. With more commissions to come—one a year—the walk will expand to four MPavilions by 2017.

Sean’s inaugural MPavilion 2014 is a form inspired by outback sheds and verandas, and the symmetry of classical Greek design. It has drawn attention here and overseas, winning a 2015 Australian Institute of Architects award as well as a nomination for a World Architecture News award. Describing the building’s daily opening ceremony, The Wall Street Journal said: “The pavilion’s beauty lies in its movement. Every morning, pneumatic arms lift the walls and roof, opening the space underneath.”

As the sun sets each night, AL_A’s MPavilion 2015 will also perform its own ritual. Installed where the structure’s roof petals and carbon-fibre poles meet, LEDs will create scattered halos of light, synchronised to an immersive soundscape —created by Matthias Schack-Arnott of Sound Percussion and lighting designer Ben Cobham of bluebottle. Set yourself a sunset reminder and greet the darkness in a digital forest.

Admission to both MPavilions is free.  If you’re planning an MPavilion Walk, remember MPavilion 2015 is located in the Queen Victoria Gardens, and open daily from October 6 to February 7 with kiosk open 10am to 4pm. The MPavilion 2014, at the Hellenic Museum, corner William and LaTrobe Streets, Melbourne, is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Closed 25 December to 5 January and on all public holidays except Labour Day.

Look Where You’re Going

You can read the past in the city—if you know where to look.  Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, make sure you charge your camera, fill a water bottle and pack your curiosity: storyteller Dale Campisi (author of travel and city guides Melbourne Precincts and Melbourne Villages, and seasoned local-knowledge tour guide) will lead the way between Sean Godsell’s fully automated, blossoming 2014 MPavilion, located at the Hellenic Museum, and AL_A’s 2015 MPavilion in the Queen Victoria Gardens. Along the route through the CBD, we’ll explore the characters and events that inform Melbourne’s history, and discover the patina of its built environment, old and new. 

 Tours begin at the Hellenic Museum at 4pm on both days, and will take approximately two hours. Plan an early arrival: a pre-tour roam through the Museum the site of which itself has a rich history of hosting public cricket matches and bazaars before being earmarked as Melbourne’s branch of the Royal Mint.

This is a free event but bookings essential as numbers are limited.

'Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne' (Lady Janet Clarke rotunda), ca. 1900–1920, photographer unknown. Courtesy the State Library of Victoria.

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