Australia’s popular architecture and design event, MPavilion will take up residence next month at the architecturally significant Parkade Carpark in Melbourne.
Located at 34 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Parkade is designed by Melbourne architect Peter McIntyre AO of McIntyre Partnerships, one of Australia's most prominent architectural firms. McIntyre’s impressive portfolio includes Parliament Station, The Jam Factory, The Butterfly House, and the 1956 Olympic Swimming Pool.
According to the joint announcement by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, the City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria, the MPavilion program will commence on 8 January 2021 at Parkade with a host of events, workshops and performances designed to stimulate, entertain and engage the visiting public.
Naomi Milgrom Foundation founder Naomi Milgrom AC said: “It’s exhilarating to collaborate with the City of Melbourne, Creative Victoria, and our wonderful partners to make MPavilion Parkade a reality. In 2021, MPavilion’s thoughtful adaptation of Parkade carpark honours the site as an important part of Melbourne’s architectural history, while giving it new life and significance.
“With this bold reimagining of such a central space, MPavilion demonstrates the possibilities that pre-existing sites can offer Melburnians as we reanimate the city post-pandemic. MPavilion Parkade is the embodiment of design as a social practice – a sustainability-conscious, community-bolstering action that empowers hundreds of designers and creatives in the process.”
Planned as a highly-accessible cultural destination, MPavilion Parkade is part of the City of Melbourne’s recovery strategy, and represents a well-timed example of adaptive reuse of the carpark. Built more than five decades ago as a carpark with offices, and subsequently modified, Parkade will be MPavilion’s new home for a multi-faceted program of public events and community experiences.
This adaptive reuse expands upon the theme of MPavilion’s January program, ‘Preservation: Propagating Knowledge’ and its broader conservation message. Events in the first month will, therefore, explore conservation, protection, reinvention, and maintenance in a growing city.
City of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp said: “Our city’s economic recovery is just beginning and we need new and innovative activations and events to encourage people to rediscover everything that Melbourne has to offer. MPavilion Parkade will be a major drawcard while showcasing the famous creativity of our city. The City of Melbourne has been a supporter of MPavilion and the program for January 2021 is truly something special.”
Parkade architect Peter McIntyre commented: “I am absolutely delighted that MPavilion will be using the carpark – it’s a very imaginative idea. It’s a useful thing to do with it because cars are on their way out. In the end, looking back on it, it is a true modernist building. It followed those very early principles of modernism in that it was clearly functional, no-frills, no decoration, in some senses, very brutal. It’s very complimentary that we are going to have MPavilion gathering there, and I never imagined that happening!”
MPavilion is responding to the challenges of the pandemic with creativity, community and a revival of Melbourne’s outdoor and public spaces. Unlike previous years, MPavilion will engage its original six MPavilions and adapt its program to support local designers and artists. Over 500 collaborators will present 400 free public events, including talks, performances, kid-friendly activities and installations.
The MPavilions of previous years including Amanda Levete’s MPavilion at Docklands, Bijoy Jain’s MPavilion at Melbourne Zoo, and Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten’s MPavilion at Monash University, will be reanimated at Parkade.
MPavilion Parkade January 2021 highlights
MKids - Yogabean Kids Yoga:
Every Friday of January, 10am - 10.30am & 11am - 11.30am
Dedicated to helping children aged 2-11 years develop physical, mental and emotional skills, each Yogabean class integrates the latest research and practices into age-appropriate mindful, relaxing yoga games set to energising and uplifting music. Families welcome.
MMeets - The Subjective Conditions of Mapping
Sunday 10 January, 2 - 4pm
Explore the creative act of mapping by experimenting with varied strategies to make maps that reference places of personal significance.
MMusic Rock Academy 22
Saturday 16 January, 3pm - 5pm
After a week of song-writing and rehearsal at Rock Academy's famous holiday workshops, some of Melbourne's finest teenage musicians will hit the stage and present a range of original and cover songs.
MKids - Grass, twigs, leaves!: Botanical Monoprinting workshop
Sunday 17 January, 10.30am - 12pm
Children aged 5-12 and their parents/guardians are invited to join Yarra Ranges-based artist and educator Bronwyn Ward for a morning of making monoprints of grass, twigs, leaves, seedpods, fronds, and flowers.
MTalks - BLAKitecture: Design Obligations
Monday 18 January, 6.15pm - 8pm
This new instalment of MPavilion’s BLAKitecture Indigenous architecture series explores the responsibilities we all share as humans temporarily inhabiting Country, and questions how shifting our perspectives and priorities might influence the way we design.
MTalks - Future Proofing: Preserving Contemporary Tapestry through Architecture
Wednesday 20 January, 6.15pm
Architects Peter Williams AM, Amy Muir and Australian Tapestry Workshop Director Antonia Syme AM explore historical connections between architectural space and tapestry, and discuss ways that tapestries could transform public and private space in the future.
MTalks - Julian Burnside AO QC in Conversation
Thursday 21 January, 6.15pm - 7.15pm
Aleks Hammo sits down with Australian barrister, human rights and asylum seeker advocate, and author Julian Burnside AO QC to discuss meaning, work, hope, and much more.
MKids - Melbourne Carbonscape
Wednesday 27 January, 10am - 11am (MPavilion Parkade)
In this workshop for 12-14-year-olds, construct a visual physical landscape of statistics and strategies to represent Melbourne’s push to carbon neutrality. Presented by MPavilion’s M_Curators program, in collaboration with artist-researchers from Local Alternatives and the Creative Agency Lab at RMIT.
MPavilion is supported by principal partners, the City of Melbourne, the State Government of Victoria through Creative Victoria, RACV, and major partner Dexus.
MPavilion takes place until Monday 5 April 2021. For further details, please visit www.mpavilion.org.
Image credits: Left: Parkade, Timothy Burgess, Right: Parkade, City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection