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What Happens To The MPavilions When We’re Done With Them?

MPavilion 2016 is off to Melbourne Zoo. Gifted by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation to the City of Melbourne, the handmade pavilion will provide a new communal venue for communication and connection.

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: John Gollings.

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: John Gollings.

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: John Gollings.

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: Rory Gardiner

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: Rory Gardiner

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: John Gollings.

  • Ariel of Melbourne Zo MPavillion location.

  • MPavillion designed by Bijoy Jain. Photo: John Gollings.

  • Naomi Milgrom. Photo by Steven Chee.

  • Bijoy Jain in Alibag, India. Photo by Nicholas Watt.

Melbourne Zoo is soon to be the permanent home of MPavilion 2016. Designed by award-winning architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai, MPavilion 2016 was informed by the concept of “lore.” This passing down of knowledge and tradition was not only expressed in the handmade architecture and craft of building but in that it provided a communal space where people could communicate with each other and connect with the world around them.

MPavilion is the brainchild of Naomi Milgrom AO, Founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, which champions art, design and architecture projects. Naomi initiated MPavilion in 2014 as a cultural venue for workshops, talks, performances and installations to be held in Queen Victoria Gardens. Naomi commissioned Studio Mumbai to design MPavilion 2016 because Bijoy’s “deep concern for craft, sustainability and community,” Naomi explains.

Sitting on a bluestone foundation, the pavilion has a bamboo structure pegged together with 5000 wooden pins and lashed together with rope, and a slatted-panel roof canopy that represents the Australian landscape. “My objective has not just been to create a new building but to capture the spirit of the place by choosing the right materials, respecting the surrounding nature and working collaboratively with local craftspeople to share design and construction ideas,” Bijoy says.

Indeed as Bijoy and Studio Mumbai seek to create architecture that “contains the life of its environment,” their work is informed by the concept of “lore.” As such, MPavilion 2016 has provided, and will continue to offer, a communal space where knowledge is passed from person to person in an oral tradition. At Queen Victoria Gardens, that knowledge explored new ideas in design and architecture; at Melbourne Zoo, it will relate to nature, wildlife and the importance of conservation.

MPavilion 2016 is the third pavilion to be gifted to the City of Melbourne by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation as part of its “Architecture in the City” strategy. The brief for each pavilion is that it must be both temporary and permanent, providing a venue for a program of events, and later contributing to Melbourne’s cultural heritage and public amenity. Sean Godsell’s MPavilion 2014 is now in the gardens of the Hellenic Museum and Amanda Levete’s MPavilion 2015 is located in a park in Docklands. Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of Netherlands-based OMA are set to design MPavilion 2017, which will also be donated after the four-month event.

Work on the installation of MPavilion 2016 at the Melbourne Zoo site has begun and opening in spring 2017 it is destined to continue its role as a popular gathering space for visitors.



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