Monash VC officially opens Melbourne’s ‘Gift to the People’ in new permanent home on campus

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO today officially opened the new MPavilion space at the University’s Clayton campus.

Earlier this year the Naomi Milgrom Foundation announced Monash Clayton as the new home of the MPavilion 2017, a creative incubator designed by world-leading architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten.

The flexible, undercover outdoor space will be available for student, staff and community organisations to host a variety of events and performances, talks and lectures along with high-quality art installations.

Professor Gardner said MPavilion 2017 at Monash University would be an inclusive and accessible space, hosting events for and with the local community.

“MPavilion is an exciting and unique addition to the diverse performance, teaching and learning spaces available at Monash. It will provide an invaluable asset for the benefit of the surrounding community,” said Professor Gardner.

“Nestled in the Australian park landscape that characterises its new surrounds, the MPavilion embodies the frontiers of contemporary design and resonates perfectly with the modernist architecture of our Clayton campus. It will be transformative for the artistic and cultural life of this University.”

“I look forward to seeing this wonderful space come to life during campus events, including Open Day and WinterFest.”

Today’s official opening featured performances by one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters, Lior, and the Monash Popular Voice Gospel Choir.

Dr Naomi Milgrom AO, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation which aims to support great art, design and architecture projects, gave the keynote address and joined Professor Gardner in opening the building.

“When Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten were in Melbourne last October, they mentioned their hope that their MPavilion would be gifted to a university, and I can’t imagine a more perfect match in interest and partnership to be celebrating here today,” she said.

“I’m thrilled that this MPavilion will become an integral part of university life at Monash University. Even more importantly is the international educational resonance created as this MPavilion comes to life on the campus. I have no doubt that students, academics, researchers and administrators here will all embrace the purpose underpinning this MPavilion, making it uniquely their own.”

The move to Monash follows a successful run for MPavilion at its temporary site in the Queen Victoria Gardens, which saw the summer season extended 11 due to popular demand. It welcomed over 117,000 visitors and 477 free events over 133 days, engaging more than 550 collaborators including cultural institutions, architects, artists, musicians, dancers, choreographers, scientists, designers and more.

OMA’s MPavilion 2017 is a single storey, contemporary, flexible, sheltered amphitheatre, with a focus on participatory design. It is located at the front entrance of the Clayton campus, near the new Learning and Teaching Building and close to public transport and parking.

About MPavilion

MPavilion is Australia’s leading architecture commission and design event. It is made possible through the vision of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Australian philanthropist Naomi Milgrom AO, and is supported by major partners City of Melbourne, the Victorian State Government through Creative Victoria, and ANZ. MPavilion has received over 351,000 visitors since its inception in 2014.

As part of the foundation’s ‘Architecture in the City’ strategy, each MPavilion has been gifted to the city following its season in the Queen Victoria Gardens. MPavilion 2014, designed by Australian architect Sean Godsell, permanently resides in the gardens of the Hellenic Museum; MPavilion 2015, designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, is located at a park on Collins Street, Docklands; and MPavilion 2016, designed by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai, India is now in Melbourne Zoo.

Cover image: Laurence Bolhaar, OMA