This year’s MPavilion will celebrate outdoor living and free movement after two years of lockdowns in Melbourne, selected architect Rachaporn Choochuey says.
Designed by Choochuey’s practice Allzone, this year’s pavilion will be made from layers of bespoke coloured nets and architectural fabrics with a waterproof membrane commonly used in stadiums.
The Bangkok-based architecture firm is known for its innovative approaches to architecture, particularly in reusing and recycling local materials.
It plans to use new materials and forms, yet to be used in Australia, including a cutting-edge lightweight mesh supplied by French manufacturer Serge Ferrari that the architect said was as transparent as glass but 10 times lighter.
Specialist engineering consultancy Tensys and Aecom worked closely with Allzone to design the innovative tensile membrane.
Choochuey said the pavilion, once erected in Queen Victoria Garden, would provide visitors with a relaxing ambience—similar to being under a big tree.
“In a world where we increasingly encounter a shortage of resources and ever-changing social conditions, the lifespan of architecture in relation to its materiality should be reinvestigated,” Choochuey said.
“The intent of our design is to explore the potential of architecture to embrace a lighter and more casual spirit, and become even more sustainable and engaging.”
Choochuey's design continues Allzone’s theme across its work of playing with transparency and light.
It follows similar designs such as the Marmalade Sky canopy for the Wonderfruit Festival in Thailand and Set the Controls to the Heart of the Sun—a design submission to the Sharjah Architecture Triennial.
The firm’s other notable projects include Thailand’s first contemporary art museum, MAIIAM, in Chiang Mai, which was completed in 2016, Powwowwow Community Mall and Duriflex Warehouse, an ambitious industrial project delivered in Samut Sakorn.
According to the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, which funds the MPavilion, the studio was chosen for its focus on sustainability and commitment to using local materials to construct its projects. A different architect is selected to design the MPavilion each year.
Businesswoman and philanthropist Naomi Milgrom, founder of the foundation, said that the practice “demonstrates how architecture and design can contribute to creating sustainable cities”.
“Choochuey's unique vision rethinks how design can impact our ways of living and the environment, and her work will require audiences to think more deeply about different ways of using materials in a sustainable future,” Milgrom said.
Since its inception in 2014, the MPavilion program has become a highlight of the Melbourne cultural calendar, with events ranging from musical performances and fitness sessions to fashion shows and forums on Indigenous design.
Past MPavilions have been designed by Glenn Murcutt, OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Amanda Levete, and recent Australian Institute of Architects gold medalist Sean Godsell.
Last year’s winner, The Lighthouse by MAP studio (Venice), is a finalist in the Excellence in Community Engagement category of this year’s TUD Awards.
This year’s program has been extended to more than 150 days and with more than 400 free events involving about 500 collaborators.
Allzone's pavilion is due to open to the public on November 17 and will be relocated to a permanent home in the city after the summer installation.