In 2023, MPavilion welcomes influential Pritzker Prize Laureate Tadao Ando as our esteemed designer for MPavilion 10. One of Japan’s leading contemporary architects, Tadao Ando is a master of light known for his striking geometric interventions in nature.
Over the past decade, MPavilion has worked with the world’s most significant architectural thinkers to create a space for engagement with urgent urban, civic, and design concerns. Tadao Ando is the seventh leading international architect to have his first work in Australia commissioned by MPavilion, the country’s foremost annual architecture commission and design festival.
Ando’s MPavilion 10 reflects his signature use of geometric intervention in nature. His process started with an interpretation of memory of place, something that transcends individual emotion to encompass a social dimension—which is why people across the world are awed and drawn in by his architecture.
Conceived as a meeting place within Melbourne’s Arts Precinct, Ando’s MPavilion 10 expresses his desire to create a memorable structure in direct response to the landscape. It strives for spatial purity, using circles and squares to conjure a space in harmony with nature.
The design features a large canopy: a 14.4-metre aluminium-clad disc resting on a central column. Offset squares create two entrances that lead to the centre of the structure. Concrete walls of varying lengths partially enclose the space to form a sanctuary reminiscent of a Japanese walled garden—in Ando’s words, “a space to reflect, interact and appreciate that which is contained within, be it nature, art or people.”
A long horizontal opening running the length of both north and south walls serves to frame views of Melbourne’s skyline and parklands, connecting the city and Queen Victoria Gardens to the structure’s interior. Its geometric forms and symmetry are underscored by an internal arrangement that is half-paved and half-reflecting pool, mirroring the canopy, sky, city and surrounds.
Led by Tadao Ando, the construction of MPavilion 10 represents a significant global collaboration between Japanese and Australian architects, engineers and builders; Osaka, home to Ando’s office, is Melbourne’s sister city.
MPavilion is Australia’s leading architecture commission: a place for conversation, collaboration and experimentation around the design of today and tomorrow. It celebrates a decade as the country’s cultural laboratory in 2023.