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Haven’t you always wanted…? 2016 NGV Architecture Commission

By

  • M@ STUDIO Architects Project Team
  • Engineer: ARUP
  • Lighting Consultant: Stephen Hennessy Art & Design Pty Ltd (SHAD)
  • Builder: Engineering Directions
  • Visualisation & Design Research: d__Lab RMIT

Description

The project titled ‘Haven’t you always wanted …?’ was a temporary pavilion and the winning entry from a two stage open national competition held in 2016 by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

The competition brief asked architects “to consider innovative ways to activate one of Melbourne’s great civic spaces, the Grollo Equiset Garden with a thought-provoking work of temporary architecture”.

The pavilion was an experiment driven through two longstanding research projects, “Suburban Realism” which explores new models for the expression of the civic through urban design in Melbourne’s future outer suburbs and ideas around ‘dematerialisation’ and the ‘uncertain object’.”

Key Features

1

Engagement through participation: This polemical project significantly increased visitors to the NGV garden at the NGV.

The architectural pavilion addressed the question of how to display architectural ideas and research in the gallery through the architecture itself.

It appealed to a wide range of audiences as an engaging and playful object, a place to gather for summer concerts and events, and wonderful backdrop for instagrammed selfies whilst also exposing audiences to the more significant research around questions of outer suburban civic and an ephemeral “uncertain object”. The project was a popular success its 3 month term extended to 7.

2

Architectural research through design: The pavilion is an experiment driven through two longstanding research projects, “Suburban Realism” which explores new models for the expression of the civic through urban design in Melbourne’s future outer suburbs and ideas around ‘dematerialisation’ and the ‘uncertain object’.”

The project brings these ideas together with the ambition of seeing the possibilities that, with an equal focus on both the ideas and resultant experiential qualities. The project asks a series of “what ifs”?

What if the scale of the suburbs landed in the NGV courtyard? In this case the Blackburn Car Lovers is transplanted at 1:1 scale, as type into the city context as a way to promote discourse on scale, density and the civic.

3

Materiality, immersion and affect: In the object there is a material or “dematerial” transformation – it becomes ghostly – something else – but only sometimes and only from some views.

We asked is this then the folly in the garden? Or is this what the suburbs would look like if for some reason the roads were covered with grass? Instead of providing an object in the garden that can be clearly understood from one position, we explored the ‘uncertain object’, which can be understood in different ways depending on where it is seen from, and that contains multiple layers of immersive effects.

Banal, familiar and readily available materials are used and redeployed as saturated ornament. Each wall is made up of four layers of cricket netting – the grids slightly shifting as you walk around them, constantly masking or revealing, based on your movement and making moire effects sometimes.

4

M@ STUDIO Architects Project Team:

Vivian Mitsogianni, Dean Boothroyd, Mark Jacques, Karla Martinez, Cameron Newnham, Luke Tuckman, Thomas Sheehan, Kerry Kounnapis, Leona Dusanovic, Adele Varcoe, Alexandra Deam, Annie Wu, Chorus, D&K, Laura Gardner, Martha Poggioli, Matthew Linde, PAGEANT, S!X, Winnie Ha Mitford

Photography, Tobias Titz.

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