MPavilion 2017 is a public venue with an intimate scale. Located in the Queen Victoria Gardens in the centre of Melbourne’s Southbank Arts Precinct, the pavilion intends to draw the community in and act as a cultural laboratory. OMA has designed a temporary structure that, along with providing space for performances, entertainment and events, can also perform itself. The pavilion’s ground plan is shaped by two grand stands; one fixed, the other movable, which together determine the setup of the performance space.
The larger static grand stand is excavated from the surrounding landscape and embedded in 12 different species of indigenous plants, giving a sense of the Australian setting. The smaller grandstand can rotate, allowing it to shift functions from seating to stage and blur the distinction between actor and audience.
The main infrastructure of the pavilion, such as lighting and hanging points is placed in the floating roof, a 2-metre-high mechanical grid structure made of aluminum-clad steel.
The mechanics in the canopy can be activated per the type of event taking place; an open-air venue for performances, entertainment and sports. Consisting of both static and dynamic elements, the pavilion allows for many configurations and can generate unexpected programming, echoing the ideals of the typology of the amphitheatre. With the city as a backdrop, the MPavilion provokes a discussion about Melbourne, its development, and its surroundings.