The Hellenic Museum has welcomed a new architectural addition to its lawns after being gifted the Sean Godsell-designed MPavilion.
The impressive glass marquee construction was the first to be made as part of the MPavilion project, created by fashion designer Naomi Milgrom and in partnership with the state government and the Melbourne City Council.
The design initiative gives aspiring architects the chance to create a no-holds-barred architectural pavilion that is then incorporated into the Queen Victoria Gardens.
The Hellenic Museum will now host the Sean Godsell design permanently, incorporating it into their events calendar and opening themselves to new ways of linking Greek culture and architecture.
“Bringing architectural dialogue into the Hellenic Museum continues to open up the dialogue between us and the broader community and within us about what the Hellenic museum represents,” the Hellenic Museum’s CEO John Tatoulis tells Neos Kosmos.
He hopes that the MPavilion will give the city a new venue for events and entertainment, to add to the museum’s already blossoming calendar.
“There will always be Greek-inspired and Greek-themed events, there is no question about that, but that is not to say that the space won’t be used by others as well,” he says.
“For the jazz festival, the arts festival, music festivals, just different events, or the food and wine festivals. We want people to come to the museum, to visit the galleries, and enjoy the space.”
Over the last two years, the Hellenic Museum has embarked on an ambitious project of incorporating new and bolder events, having recently secured the Benaki treasures, put on a retrial of Socrates and made the Greek Summer Cinema program blossom.
The hope is to create a more inclusive and robust dialogue with the Australian community, promote areas of Greek culture that fascinate and transcend time.
“I think we haven’t been presenting ourselves to them the appropriate way and I think that now with the Cultural Centre, with us here, with other individual artists, producers and entrepreneurs, Hellenism is being presented in a far more contemporary way, a far more accessible way, a far more engaging way,” Mr Tatoulis says.
“Look at the way in which Hellenism intersects with the National Curriculum and education, in every single area, mathematics, science, medicine, art, literature – it makes a lot of sense that we are just part of the cultural fabric of a country like Australia.”
Having the pavilion as a permanent structure in the Hellenic Museum will better link Australia’s modern make-up, while still promoting Greek cultural ties.
Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says it’s fitting that the MPavillion sits in the Hellenic Museum, seeing as Greece holds such a strong architectural legacy.
“The pavilion can be interpreted as a modern incarnation of ancient Greek structures, signifying a connection between historic and contemporary artistic expression,” Cr Doyle says.
The second MPavilion will be designed by British architect Amanda Levete, who expects to create a vastly different creation than Sean Godsell’s.
In a response to Melbourne’s temperamental weather, the structure will be covered in large translucent ‘petals’ that will sway gently in the wind.