2015 Summer Architecture Commission by John Wardle Architects at NGV International

A soaring nine metre-high pink pavilion, inspired by the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and adorned with 1350 hand-folded fuchsia-coloured blooms, has been revealed by John Wardle Architects last week at the NGV International.

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Photographer: John Gollings

The ephemeral structure is entirely Melbourne designed and made and, over spring and summer, will play host to live music performances, panel talks, kids’activities, picnics and more.

The pavilion will flood visitors in glittering, kaleidoscopic pink light as they stand under an 18 metre-wide translucent canopy of origami-like folded polypropylene, regarded as the world’s most sustainable and recyclable material and more commonly used to produce Australia’s polymer banknotes.

The Summer Architecture Commission is a new annual project at the NGV which invites designers and architects to produce an ephemeral structure or installation for NGV International’s Grollo Equiset Garden.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘This project is one of many upcoming design and architecture-focused exhibitions and events, spearheaded by the gallery’s newly-established Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture, including the reinvigorated Rigg Design Prize and Parallels – Journeys into Contemporary Making, a major two-day international conference on contemporary craft and design practices.’

Paying homage to iconic Melbourne performance venue the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, John Wardle Architects’ playful steel, timber and textile structure lifts dramatically on high arches to form an open-sided, shaded space.

Adaptable and evocative, the structure merges the digital and the handmade. The design utilises 3D modelling and cutting-edge engineering and fabrication systems to achieve the generous span of a lightweight steel structure. Beneath a high-tech outer layer of precision-engineered steel is a low-tech layer of timber and a mass array of 1350 hand-folded polypropylene elements. These 3D textile elements are individually suspended to create a textural pink skin that provides colourful shade by day and a unique nocturnal glow.

The 2015 Summer Architecture Commission: John Wardle Architects is on public display at NGV International from 24 September 2015 –1 May 2016. Open daily, 10am–5pm. Free entry.