The MPavilion 2019 is firstly a real pavilion: historically, a pavilion is a tent, a light and temporary building. I felt a crisp white building that at night could be lit from within its roof—like a lantern in the Queen Victoria Gardens, giving the pavilion a feeling of lightness—would sit comfortably in the location.
MPavilion 2019 is designed so that it can also be very easily dismantled and relocated.
I thought that the pavilion needed to address the city, so that from within the building you could view the gardens, and beyond to the river, and the city: a foreground, a middle ground and the distant ground. Having the pavilion face north, open towards the river, I could work with good climatic conditions. With the sun at 76 degrees thereabouts at noon at summertime it achieves shade, and combined with the northern aspect, it was logical to extend the building beyond the existing square grid foundation.
When I was designing the pavilion, during the very early period, I recalled a trip I made in Mexico about thirty years ago, to the Yaxchilán ruins, which were being restored at the time. I had been invited to see the ruins with a small group and we travelled by light aircraft to an airfield slotted amongst the tropical jungle.
For lunch, we had a picnic in the shade provided by the wing of the aircraft. In the high humidity of the tropical climate we laid out a tablecloth on the ground, establishing ‘place’.
After lunch, I put my rucksack against the aircraft’s under carriage and laid down, and there above me was the beautiful wing, lined with aircraft fabric—which led me to the MPavilion’s roof—with the tablecloth as my place, together with my view the Yaxchilán, and the surrounding forest. It was a wonderful moment. There was my beginning of the pavilion.