MPavilion 2015 reveals forest canopy design by Amanda Levete

The renders for MPavilion 2015 designed by AL_A, the studio of award-winning British architect Amanda Levete, were revealed on Monday. Featuring the latest technology in nautical engineering the MPavilion creates the sensation of a forest canopy in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. It was also announced that Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London will be officially opening MPavilion on 5 October 2015.

Amanda Levete commented on her vision for the design: “Our MPavilion 2015 is designed to create the sensation of a forest canopy, made up of seemingly fragile, translucent petals supported by impossibly slender columns that sway gently in the breeze. Under the canopy the light will be dappled and dreamy. We’re working with Australian specialist mouldCAM to use boundary-pushing technology of composite materials to form petals that are five metres in diameter but only a few millimetres thick.”

Naomi Milgrom, Chair of Naomi Milgrom Foundation who commissioned Amanda Levete to design the pavilion commented: “With MPavilion this year we supported a meaningful Australian-British collaboration and therefore delighted that Martin Roth will be officially opening MPavilion 2015. The design is the product of Anglo- Australian innovation led by AL_A, and a partnership between the global engineering firm Arup, Australian design, engineering and manufacturing company mouldCAM and building company Kane Construction. With a focus on exploration of hi-tech techniques and new technology, the result is inventive, risk taking and experimental – encouraging design debate and cultural exchange. Architecture is about experience and ultimately enhancing people’s lives – MPavilion 2015 offers people a meeting place for ideas.“

Elaborating on the design of MPavilion’s ‘forest canopy’ Levete said: “By exploiting the temporary nature of the pavilion form, our design subverts the norms of immovable. It embraces and amplifies such distinctions, so that it speaks in response to the weather, and moves with the wind rather than trying to keep it at bay,” added Levete.

Martin Roth who is working with AL_A on a highly anticipated new entrance, courtyard and major exhibition space for the V&A commented: “I’m thrilled to be officially opening MPavilion 2015. Amanda Levete has a great deal of curiosity for new material and new design – it’s about the design of a building however it’s also about the details, the floor, the wall, the light that comes into the building. It’s the detail in the end that creates the quality of an entire space.”

The MPavilion 2015 employs hi-tech nautical engineering to create a series of three- and five-meter wide petals –made out of ultra-thin translucent composite and carbon fiber. The design was developed in collaboration with Australian specialist mouldCAM. At night MPavilion will have a glowing aura and extraordinary sculptural presence in Queen Victoria Gardens. The slender carbon fiber columns conceal the wiring of lights and speakers. A halo-like effect is created by a LED strip forming the capital to the column, while using the latest technology turns the petals into amplifiers. Inside MPavilion, the performance space is oriented to provide a backdrop of Melbourne’s skyline to the north or the delicately layered tree line to the east.

Brendon McNiven, Project Director at Arup, a collaborating partner for the 2015 MPavilion said: “The MPavilion 2015 features innovative materials typically used in the aerospace and aeronautical industry, resulting in a lightweight, high strength structure. The key structural innovation lies in the holistic and seamless integration of the lighting and audio system within the structure, providing an aesthetic and architectural solution to a common design challenge.”

Toby Whitfield, Managing Director at mouldCAM comments, “The MPavilion is a beautiful example of how new materials and technology can be taken outside of their normal application to deliver extraordinary and unique results. The willingness by AL_A to push boundaries, and a large degree of self belief with the MPavilion team has allowed for a very rewarding experience.”

The second MPavilion will be presented free to the public from 5 October 2015 until 7 February 2016. For further details please visit

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