Oct 7, 2014 - Feb 1, 2015

MPavilion 2014 by Sean Godsell Architects

MPavilion

Australian architect Sean Godsell designed the inaugural MPavilion, open in Melbourne, Australia from 7 October 2014 to 1 February 2015.

About
MPavilion is a unique architecture commission and design event for Melbourne, initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with support from City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government. Each year for the next four years an outstanding architect will be commissioned to design a temporary pavilion for the Queen Victoria Gardens, in the centre of the vibrant Southbank Arts Precinct. The 2014 MPavilion was been designed by Australian architect Sean Godsell. 

Pneumatic arms lift Sean Godsell's inaugural MPavilion, featuring galvanised steel, aluminium mesh and reclaimed wood.

The architect
Sean Godsell (1960 - )

Sean Godsell was born in Melbourne in 1960. He graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne in 1984. He spent much of 1985 travelling in Japan and Europe and worked in London from 1986 to 1988 for Sir Denys Lasdun. In 1989 he returned to Melbourne and worked for The Hassell Group. In 1994 he formed Godsell Associates Pty Ltd Architects.

He obtained a Masters of Architecture degree from RMIT University in 1999 titled The Appropriateness of the Contemporary Australian Dwelling. His work has been published in the world’s leading architectural journals including Architectural Review, Architectural Record, Domus, A+U, Casabella, GA Houses, Detail, Le Moniteur, and Architect.

In July 2002 the influential English design magazine Wallpaper* listed him as one of ten people destined to ‘change the way we live’. He was the only Australian and the only architect in the group.

He has lectured in the USA, UK, China, Japan, India, France, Italy and New Zealand as well as across Australia. He was a keynote speaker at the Alvar Aalto symposium in Finland in July 2006.

In July 2003 he received a citation from the president of the American Institute of Architects for his work for the homeless. His Future Shack prototype was exhibited from May to October 2004 at the Smithsonian Institute’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York. In the same year the Italian publisher Electa published the monograph Sean Godsell: Works and Projects. TIME named him in the ‘Who’s Who—The New Contemporaries’ section of their 2005 'Style and Design' supplement. He was the only Australian and the only architect in the group of seven eminent designers.

He has received numerous local and international awards. In 2006 he received the Victorian Premier’s Design Award and the RAIA Robin Boyd Award and in 2007 he received the Cappochin residential architecture award in Italy and a Chicago Athenaeum award in the USA—all for St Andrews Beach House—and in 2008 he was a finalist in the Wallpaper* International Design Awards and a recipient of his second AIA Record Houses Award for Excellence in the USA for Glenburn House. In 2008 noted architectural historian and professor of architecture at Columbia University Kenneth Frampton nominated him for the inaugural BSI Swiss Architecture Award for architects under the age of 50, and his work was exhibited as part of the Milan Triennale and Venice Biennale in the same year. In 2010 the prototype of the RMIT Design Hub facade was exhibited in Gallery MA in Tokyo before being transported in 2011 to its permanent home at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 2012 he was shortlisted to design the new Australian Pavilion in Venice. In 2013 he received the RAIA Victorian Medal and William Wardell Awards for the RMIT Design Hub and the Harold Desbrowe Annear award for the Edward Street House.

In January 2013 the Spanish publication El Croquis published the monograph Sean Godsell – Tough Subtlety which includes an essay by Juhani Pallasmaa and interview by Leon Van Schaik. In July 2013 and July 2014 he was visiting professor at the IUAV WAVE workshop in Venice and delivered the UNESCO chair open lecture in Mantova, Italy.

For a full list of Sean Godsell's projects, please refer to seangodsell.com.

Sean Godsell in conversation with fellow architect Leon van Schaik at MPavilion's annual ideas relay, MRelay 2014.

The process

Sean Godsell's architect statement for MPavilion 2014.

An early sketch of MPavilion 2014

Iterations of MPavilion 2014's early designs.

A preliminary model of MPavilion 2014.

MPavilion 2014 revealed

Looking toward MPavilion and the Melbourne CBD with the City of Melbourne's 'The Pathfinder' in the foreground—a contemporary sculpture added to the Queen Victoria Gardens in the early 1970s.

The relocation
Since the close of the 2014 season, Sean Godsell’s inaugural MPavilion relocated to a new, permanent address. A gift to the City of Melbourne, the fully automated, blossoming structure resides in the gardens at William Street’s Hellenic Museum. The site itself has a rich history—having played host to public cricket matches and bazaars before being earmarked as the location for Melbourne’s branch of the British Royal Mint. Constructed in 1869 and designed by architect JJ Clark, this heritage-listed building now houses the Hellenic Museum’s extensive permanent collection and a regular program of contemporary exhibitions, music and film celebrating the heritage of ancient and modern Greece. Sean’s MPavilion was re-built in the museum’s courtyard, now housing a year-round program of exhibitions and cultural events.

MPavilion 2014, Hellenic Gardens

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