MPavilion 2021 conceptualised by Venice-based practice MAP studio is now open

Two years in the making, The Light Catcher in Melbourne, Australia, is envisioned to be an urban lighthouse and is a geometric abstraction of a lantern.

by Devanshi ShahPublished on : Jan 17, 2022

A work more than two years in the making, MPavilion 2021 returns to the Queen Victoria Gardens with The Light Catcher by MAP studio. The Venice-based practice was originally meant to realise their project in 2020. However, work was postponed due to the global response to the COVID-19 crisis. Led by architects Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel, from whose surname the name MAP is derived, the pavilion opened towards the end of 2021. MAP studio is an architecture, urbanism, and design practice based in Italy, and is renowned for responding to existing sites in a way that is both sensitive and celebratory. The Italian design studio also indicated a reignition of global partnership of the MPavilion.

  • The Light Catcher, MPavilion 2021 by MAP studio | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP Studio | STIRworld
    The Light Catcher, MPavilion 2021 by MAP studio Image: John Gollings
  • MPavilion 2021 by MAP studio inside the Queen Victoria Gardens | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP Studio | STIRworld
    MPavilion 2021 by MAP studio inside the Queen Victoria Gardens Image: Anthony Richardson
  • The MPavilion is commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP Studio | STIRworld
    The MPavilion is commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation Image: Anthony Richardson

The annual cycle of pavilion commissions implies its temporary nature. From the Serpentine Pavilion to the Venice Biennale, the cyclical nature of these temporary structures allows for studios and practices to implement experimental ideas. The project for the temporary MPavilion, commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, explores the potential of this particular archetype. The condition of the temporary architectural structure has the potential to be a focal point and location to congregate at, based simply on its transitory nature. In the case of the MPavilion it is also meant to act as an indicator of the creative and dynamic quality of the city of Melbourne, Australia.

  • View of the MPavilion 2021 by M Pavilion | MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
    View of the MPavilion Image: Anthony Richardson
  • Aerial view of The Light Catcher | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
    Aerial view of The Light Catcher Image: John Gollings

Like previous iterations of the MPavilion, The Light Catcher is stipulated to have a life cycle of 20 years and will find a second home after its run at the Queen Victoria Gardens is completed. This is true of all previous versions as well, Glen Murcutt’s 2019 proposal is now housed at University Square, University of Melbourne. This creates an interesting urban understanding of these temporary structures. While functioning as part of the MPavilion these structures have a defined purpose. However, when they find their permanent home within the city of Melbourne, they adapt to their new location, functioning as bandstands or gazebos or simply covered shelters.

Images of the model | MPavilion 2021 by MAP  | STIRworld
Images of the model Image: Courtesy of MAP (Venice)

MAP's proposal is conceptualised as a lantern that functions as an urban lighthouse that illuminates and hosts the community cultural activities planned for the 2021 summer season in Melbourne. The inspiration might not be immediately visible as the final design is a geometric abstraction of the initial object.

Elevations and sections of the final design | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
Elevations and sections of the final design Image: Courtesy of MAP (Venice)

The pavilion is a reticular steel structure, made up of galvanised and painted tubular profiles that support a set of panels in aluminium mirror finishing that reflect light. These reflective panels will also reflect the activities and people who will use this space. All these surfaces will function partially as shading elements. Composed of a three-dimensional mesh, based on 2x2x2 square modules that configure a base of 12 metres wide, with six modules and a volume of six-metres high, with three modules, overall covers an area of 144 sqm. The structure defines a hollow space of 64 sqm that is 6.4 metres high. The ground level is redefined as a coloured, organic, rubber surface.

Schematic plan of the reflective surfaces | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
Schematic plan of the reflective surfaces Image: Courtesy of MAP (Venice)

Held up by a set of four prefabricated reinforced concrete supports, it also functions as a seating element. With a U-shaped form and smooth edges, the supports serve a dual purpose. A small circular kiosk houses a utility space, where kiosk carts or mobile seats can be stored. Keeping in mind that this particular pavilion has been produced during the pandemic, the pavilion is thought of as a stage around which people gather to attend events and shows, and not the complete centre of activity.

Four prefabricated reinforced concrete elements support the structure | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
Four prefabricated reinforced concrete elements support the structure Image: John Gollings

The Light Catcher positions itself as an urban sign of the consolidated role of civic gathering, community centre and the importance of creating a place of public meeting through a system of permeable ground supports, that qualifies itself as a habitable device in different ways that the intense program and the different types of events will require.

View from inside the pavilion | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
View from inside the pavilion Image: John Gollings

MPavilion 2021 is open to the public from November 2021 until March 2022. It is an ongoing initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and is supported by the City of Melbourne, State Government of Victoria through Creative Victoria and Development Victoria, and RACV.

View of the reflected panels | M Pavilion 2021 by MAP (Venice) | STIRworld
View of the reflected panels Image: Anthony Richardson

What do you think?

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
3880,3830,3859,3823,3756

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE