Australia’s Naomi Milgrom Foundation has announced that Tadao Ando will design the latest—and tenth overall—iteration of MPavilion, the public art- and design–championing nonprofit’s flagship annual installation. The MPavilion itself serves as the centerpiece of a larger design festival of the same name featuring free public programming—talks, performances, and more— throughout the event’s five-month run at Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne.
The forthcoming work is the first commission in Australia for the self-taught, Pritzker Prize–winning Japanese architect, and the seventh non-Aussie MPavilion commission overall. Melbourne’s Sean Godsell of Sean Godsell Architects won the inaugural pavilion commission in 2014, with more recent awardees including Carme Pinós (Spain, 2018), Glenn Murcutt (Australia, 2019), Francesco Magnani and Traudy Pelzel of MAP Studio (Italy, 2021), and Rachaporn Choochuey of Bangkok-based all(zone), whose 2022 installation, designed and delivered by an all-female team, is currently on view through April 8 after first debuting last December.
MPavilion 9 by Thai architect Rachaporn Choochuey and all(zone) is currently on view at Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne. Photo by John Gollings, courtesy MPavilion
While the run of each installation at Queen Victoria Gardens, part of Melbourne’s Domain Parklands complex, is seasonal, MPavilion differs from similar programs like London's Serpentine Pavilion in that the works are gifted post-festival by the foundation to the public and relocated to new, permanent locations for community use. OMA’s 2017 pavilion, for example, was moved to the Melbourne campus of Monash University following the conclusion of the fourth MPavilion cycle.
As for Ando’s winning design, it will be formally revealed this May. The overarching programming themes of the MPavilion 10 festival—a “cultural laboratory” per the foundation—will be informed by Ando’s practice and announced in the months to come.
“The design for the MPavilion began with a desire to find a scene of eternity within the public gardens of the Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne,” said Ando. “Eternal, not in material or structure, but in the memory of a landscape that will continue to live in people’s hearts.”
Famed for his poetic, pared-down design ethos and emblematic affinity for cast-in-place concrete, major works by Ando include the Church of Light in his native Osaka (1989); the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St Louis (2001); the Chichu Art Museum in Naoshima, Japan (2004); Tokyo’s 21_21 Design Site (2007); Chicago’s Wrightwood 659 (2018), and The Bourse de Commence—Pinault Collection in Paris (2020).
“I have long admired how Tadao Ando responds to and incorporates the particularity of a place into his design, and his belief that architecture can shape a society,” remarked Naomi Milgrom, founder of the namesake philanthropic organization behind the MPavillion and other creative culture–promoting initiatives across Australia. “We look forward to sharing Ando’s work in Australia for the very first time and having his MPavilion become a vital site in the cultural and community life of Melbourne.”
RECORD will share the design of Ando’s MPavilion 10 when it is revealed.