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A hand-made pavilion has popped up in Queen Victoria Gardens for summer

Written by
Dee Jefferson

In just two years, and two editions, MPavilion has become an essential summer hub for Melbourne: an architect-designed pop-up venue in Queen Victoria Gardens for music, talks and performances.

The third edition of MPavilion – opened last night with a ceremony lead by traditional custodians of the land, the Yalukit Wilum – is designed by Indian architect and sustainable design proponent Bijoy Jain, of Studio Mumbai.

Photograph: John Gollings

Jain’s handmade pavilion uses 7km of bamboo, 50t of stone and 26km of rope. Bamboo poles imported from India for the project were joined with 5,000 wooden pins and bound with rope. The roof panels are made from sticks from the Karvi plant woven together in India using traditional craftmanship.

Jain’s design also incorporates Indian elements: an ornate ‘tazia’ style entrance tower, as used in religious ceremonies, is conceived as a welcoming gesture for visitors; an opening at the centre of the roof symbolically connects earth to sky, while a golden well underneath the opening represents the importance of water to life and community.

Photograph: John Gollings

Over 400 free talks, events and performances will take place between now and February 18. MPavilion is open daily from 9am-4pm, with an on-site kiosk run by artisan coffee roaster Three Thousand Thieves and featuring a menu heavy on local providores, including Shadowfax wines, Melbourne Gin Company, Koko Black, Yarra Valley Dairy and Sneakyboy Sweets. Staff are outfitted by home-grown design heroes Perks and Mini (P.A.M.).

To find out more about the design of this year’s MPavilion head to the Queen Victoria Gardens on Thursday October 6 at 6.15pm for a free public talk hosted by architect Peter Maddison with MPavilion creator Naomi Milgrom and architect Bijoy Jain.

At the end of the MPavilion 2016/17 season, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation will donate the structure to the City of Melbourne and relocated to a permanent home within the city. (MPavilion 2014, by Australian architect Sean Godsell, now stands in the gardens of the Hellenic Museum; you can find MPavilion 2015, by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, in a park off Collins Street, Docklands).

Photograph: John Gollings

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