Dezeen Magazine

OMA named to design Melbourne's 2017 MPavilion

Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of Dutch firm OMA have been unveiled as the designers of the 2017 MPavilion, an annual commission billed as Australia's answer to the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

Koolhaas and Gianotten's MPavilion will be OMA's first completed project in Australia, located in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens.

It will be the fourth edition of the annual pavilion project sponsored by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation – an organisation set up by businesswoman and philanthropist Naomi Milgrom.

The project has been in the pipeline for three years, says OMA managing partner David Gianotten in a video to mark the announcement – which coincides with the closing of the 2016 MPavilion, a bamboo and wood structure by Studio Mumbai founder Bijoy Jain.

"We've always looked at pavilions as key moments in the development of the office because in pavilions you can test things you cannot do in real buildings," says Rem Koolhaas.

Details of the design are yet to be released, but Koolhaas says he is keen to explore the contrast between the "vast territories of the world" and cities through the project.

"The Naomi Milgrom Foundation’s MPavilion is now a project of international significance and we look forward to contributing to the architectural legacy it has engendered," said Koolhaas and Gianotten.

"We are excited by the brief of designing a cultural heart for the city – a space of public engagement that will spark creativity and discussion, and that will act as a theatre for ideas."

The OMA-designed MPavilion will open to the public on 3 October 2017 and host a year-long series of cultural events.

It will be the last of four pavilions funded by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. In 2015, Amanada Levete designed a swaying canopy of fibreglass petals and for the inaugural commission in 2014 Sean Godsell created a pavilion of pneumatic shutters.

"Rem Koolhaas is one of the world's most provocative and influential architects," said Milgrom.

"His contribution to the cultural landscape as an urban thinker together with OMA's multi-disciplinary approach to architecture reflects MPavilion's desire to inspire debate about the role of design in building equitable and creative cities."

Rem Koolhaas and OMA, who placed at number 12 on the Dezeen Hot List, have completed a long list of cultural venues in recent years including the Faena Forum art and performance centre in Miami Beach, the Qatar Foundation in Doha and London's Design Museum.