Tadao Ando chosen to design MPavilion 2023 in Melbourne

Portrait of Tadao Ando

Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando has been named the designer of this year’s MPavilion, which will be his first project in Australia.

The annual architecture commission, which is chosen by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, will see Ando design a pavilion for the Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne’s Southbank Arts Precinct.

Portrait of Tadao Ando
Tadao Ando has been named the architect for the next MPavilion. Photo by Christopher Schriner via Wikimedia Commons

Japan-based Ando will be the seventh leading international architect to create an MPavilion and, as with his predecessors, it will be his first work in Australia.

No images of Ando’s pavilion have been revealed, but the architect described its design as “eternal”.

“The design for the MPavilion began with a desire to find a scene of eternity within the public gardens of the Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne,” Ando said.

“Eternal, not in material or structure, but in the memory of a landscape that will continue to live in people’s hearts.”

Tadao Ando Bourse de Commerce redesign
Ando recently redesigned Paris’ historic Bourse de Commerce. Photo by Patrick Tourneboeuf. Main image by Maxime Tétard

Naomi Milgrom, the founder of the foundation that commissions the MPavilion, said that Ando was chosen this year because of how he “responds to and incorporates the particularity of a place into his design”.

“Each year, MPavilion commissions architects with a unique design language and social purpose and gives them complete freedom to realize their vision,” she said.

“I have long admired how Tadao Ando responds to and incorporates the particularity of a place into his design and his belief that architecture can shape a society.”

“As the MPavilion prepares for the 10th edition, we look forward to sharing Ando’s work in Australia for the very first time and having his MPavilion become a vital site in the cultural and community life of Melbourne,” Milgrom added.

Ando’s design for the pavilion will be unveiled in May and will be open to the public from 16 November.

The MPavilions host free cultural events including workshops and performances, and are given to the people of the state of Victoria and relocated to a permanent home once the season is over.

Interior of former Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto
The Japanese architect also converted Nintendo’s headquarters into a hotel

The current MPavilion was designed by Bangkok studio All(zone). Topped with a bright orange canopy, it was designed to mimic the feeling of being underneath a tree.

Ando is one of Japan’s most prolific architects and known for projects such as the Church of the Light and Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum.

His recent work includes a transformation of video game company Nintendo’s former headquarters into a hotel and a redesign of the historic Bourse de Commerce building in Paris.

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