MPavilion 2019


  • Glenn Murcutt AO, Architect
  • Jonathan Temple, Temple Architecture, Membrane Advisor
  • Nigel Burdon, AECOM, Structural Engineer
  • Tony Isaacson, Kane Constructions, Builder
  • Tom Gastin, Pattons, Membrane Fabricator


MPavilion is Australia’s leading architectural commission and design event, created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. Annually, a temporary pavilion is designed and erected in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. Over the summer, it hosts a program of free events, performances and installations in order to encourage design debate and cultural exchange. MPavilion 2019 was designed by internationally revered Australian architect Glenn Murcutt AO and is a minimalist, climate-responsive, open-plan space, which catered effortlessly to MPavilion’s diverse public program.

Key Features


MPavilion 2019 embodies Glenn Murcutt’s longstanding interest in buildings that make efficient use of site, are practical and are sensitive to the environmental conditions of the Australian landscape. Inspired by a memory of using a light aircraft’s wing as shelter, the pavilion consists of a steel framed structure, with wing like curved trusses lined with translucent tensile membrane and internal ceiling panels of luminous Ceconite aircraft fabric. The artistry of Murcutt’s design for MPavilion 2019 lies in its simplicity and functionality. Murcutt described it as \”one of the lightest buildings and one of the most minimal structures I have done.\”


It is pertinent to Glenn Murcutt that his designs ‘touch the earth lightly’- he views architecture as an opportunity to create places of reconciliation by partaking in reconciliation of place. MPavilion 2019 holds sustainable practices at its core, partnering with suppliers who position environmental responsibility as their primary focus and engaging in a strict ‘no single-use plastic’ policy on site. The pavilion was designed to be easily dismantled and relocated. A temporary space with an enduring civic journey, MPavilion 2019 was gifted to the people of Victoria for its second life, to continue to engage with the public permanently.


Glenn Murcutt was chosen for his ethical philosophies, sustainable practices and commitment to responsible and inclusive urban design, and MPavilion 2019 is a true representation of this. Its paired-back elegance made for a warm and engaging platform, a perfect centrepiece for a free public program of cultural events and activities, both stimulating tourism and further cementing Melbourne as a design capital. The pavilion became a vibrant leadership platform, that actively, yet unobtrusively engaged with the urban landscape – a place where collaborators openly engaged in current urban and social issues, further strengthening Melbourne’s position at the forefront of the design and culture scene nationally and internationally.


Climatic conditions and minimal impact on the bordering landscape were key considerations in Murcutt’s approach to MPavilion 2019. This design is—as Murcutt himself says—‘a real pavilion’; a structure that is light and crisp, sitting comfortably and unobtrusively in its surroundings. Through its open form, the pavilion blurs the lines between what happens inside and outside its ‘perimeter’, allowing people and experiences to flow into, and from, the sweeping lawns of the Queen Victoria Gardens. MPavilion 2019’s ability to adapt to a dynamic program of experimental design, architectural, artistic and cultural initiatives, while remaining grounded and integrating itself seamlessly into its environment, is what gives it such merit.


MPavilion 2019’s lack of walls created both a literal and figurative sense of openness, welcoming foot traffic, tourists, and all manner of intentional and incidental visitors in. Over the course of its season, MPavilion 2019 hosted over 185 talks, 93 performances, 87 workshops, 49 literacy events, 36 kid’s events, and 5 dog meets. Its cross-disciplinary program invited over 250 celebrated local and international collaborators including architects, performers, fashion designers, scientists, artists, technology experts, musicians and more, to explore pertinent themes including: building communities, fostering inclusive cities, women in leadership, the indigineous voice, regional contexts and environmental change.

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