A simple steel structure with an outer skin that opens up like a flower is the first of four MPavilions to pop-up in Melbourne.

Inspired by the annual Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park, the MPavilion project was commissioned by businesswoman and philanthropist Naomi Milgrom and was officially opened yesterday by the Serpentine gallery co-director Julia Peyton-Jones.

The inaugural ‘cultural clubhouse’ was designed by Australian architect Sean Godsell, who created the 12 metre by 12 metre lightweight structure from galvanised steel, aluminium mesh and recycled wood from a 19th-century wool-shed.

When closed, the pavilion resembles something like an Australian metal shack, but a fully automated outer skin sees the walls and roof panels open at 8am every morning to reveal a covered space that can house up to 100 people.

The MPavilion is located in the Queen Victoria Gardens, where it will host a cafe and free arts events over the next four months, before being moved to a new location, while a new pavilion is built in its place.

Every year for the next four years a new architect will be commissioned to designed the next temporary pavilion.

Speaking at the launch, Milgrom said she believes the MPavillion will become a “cultural conductor” for the city, with Peyton-Jones adding that she hopes the project will establish a more longstanding relationship between Melbourne and London and their cultural institutions.

Photographer: Earl Carter