The much-anticipated 2017 MPavilion – inspired by ancient amphitheatres and embraced by a hill of native plants – has officially opened in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens.

Designed by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of Netherlands-based practice OMA, MPavilion 2017 is the fourth annual architect-designed summer pavilion commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. Over a four-month period – running until 4 February 2018 – MPavilion will present a free program of talks, meets, music and projects. 

“Our design for MPavilion 2017 is intended to provoke all kinds of activities through its configurable nature and a materiality that relates to its direct surroundings,” explain the architects. “We are happy that MPavilion can perform as a theatre of debate around the city and its development, and contribute to the ongoing civic discourse of Melbourne.”

Credit-John-Gollings-corner.jpgCredit-John-Gollings-external-1.jpgPhotography by John Gollings

The structure of the pavilion is comprised of two tiered grandstands: one fixed, the other moveable. A metallic, ‘floating’ roof completes the pavilion.

The mixture of static and dynamic elements within the 19x19-metre, aluminium-clad structure means it can be re-configured to accommodate whatever type of performance is demanded. The rotating grandstand in particular enables visitors to interact with the pavilion from all angles. This kinetic element also allows programmers to open up different views from within the space, whether to the specific context within the Queen Victoria Gardens or to the broader cityscape.

Credit-John-Gollings-internal-2.jpgPhotography by John Gollings

Previous MPavilions have been designed by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai (2016), Amanda Levete of AL_A (2015), and Sean Godsell of Sean Sean Godsell Architects (2014). In July this year, it was announced that MPavilion would be extended for a further two years, until 2019.

MPavilion’s 2017 design was brought to life by builders Kane Construction, engineers Arup, building surveyors Gardener Group, and landscape architects Tract.