MPavilion 2019

  • 2020

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Commissioned By:

The Naomi Milgrom Foundation

Designed In:


MPavilion 2019, commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and designed by Glenn Murcutt, is the sixth instalment in the MPavilion series. Every year, a temporary pavilion is designed and erected in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. Over the summer, it becomes home to hundreds of free talks, workshops, performances and installations.

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Image: Timothy Burgess
Image: Timothy Burgess
Image: Timothy Burgess
Image: John Gollings
Image: John Gollings
Image: John Gollings
Image: John Gollings
Image: John Gollings
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  • As a community-oriented cultural laboratory, the design of MPavilion 2019 needed to transcend that of a purely architectural space. The pavilion needs to act as a centrepiece for a free public program of cultural events and activities, while stimulating tourism and promoting Melbourne as a design capital built on meaningful collaborations. The design needs to actively invite citizens to become more engaged with their own urban landscape, and to take part in determining how we meet the challenges and opportunities facing our city.

  • On the design Murcutt commented that it was "one of the lightest buildings and one of the most minimal structures I have done." The flexibility and freedom within the brief can be a temptation to create an overly elaborate experimental space. However, Murcutt responded to these inherent challenges by making the pavilion as simple as possible. Murcutt noted that "‘simplicity’ being the other face of complexity—must embody complexity but must read in a very simple way. If it doesn’t do that it becomes simplistic". The result is a minimalist, climate-responsive and open-plan space effortlessly catering to a diverse public program.

  • MPavilion 2019 is designed to showcase progressive, sustainable approaches to design and architecture. It’s MPavilion's powerful outcomes that have established its special influence on civic life in Melbourne. A temporary space with an enduring civic journey, MPavilion 2019 will be gifted to the people of Victoria for its second life, and relocated permanently, so that it continues to engage with the public. Described as a ‘container of ideas’ its social and economic impacts will continue amongst new communities with extensive value not only in raising design awareness but also as a cultural and local asset.

  • MPavilion’s ability to shift and adapt to dynamic programming, yet remain grounded in its surrounding environment, allows the project to extend its influence far beyond aesthetics and design. Throughout MPavilion 2019, many individuals and organisations were engaged to create special events around different social groups. Over the course of its recently completed season, MPavilion 2019 welcomed more than 149,300 visitors to over 250 free events. These events included over 100 talks and public lectures, 28 music performances, 37 design meetings and gatherings, 29 workshops, 36 kids events, 42 health and wellbeing events, and 7 projects and installations. To create these events, MPavilion engaged with over 500 collaborators, including cultural institutions, architects, artists, musicians, dancers, choreographers, scientists, designers and more. Being a significant structure in itself as well as a venue for architectural discourse, MPavilion not only embraces innovative contemporary design, but actively progresses its presence and meaning in the City of Melbourne.