Introducing: MPavilion Parkade—opening January 2021


*MPavilion Parkade architect Peter McIntyre AO will be in conversation with architect Toby Reed on Friday 22 January, 2021 at 6.15pm, followed by a DJ set. More details to come!


It’s the big news for summer that we’ve been so excited to share with you…

From 8 January 2021, MPavilion will take residency at the architecturally significant Parkade carpark, designed by Melbourne architect Peter McIntyre AO at 34 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. As an extraordinary contribution to the City of Melbourne’s recovery strategy, MPavilion Parkade will host events, talks, workshops, film screenings, performances and more, 7-days-a-week.

In a timely example of ‘adaptive re-use’—the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than that for which it was designedMPavilion will use Parkade car park as a new home for its unique, multi-faceted program of public events and community experiences. Parkade was designed by Peter McIntyre, of Mclntyre Partnerships—one of Australia’s most prominent architectural firms. His extraordinary portfolio includes Parliament Station, The Jam Factory, The Butterfly House, and the 1956 Olympic swimming pool. Built c1960-70, the Parkade was originally a carpark with offices, and was later modified. MPavilion’s adaptive re-use of Parkade expands upon the broader conservational message of MPavilion’s January program, which has been curated under the theme ‘Preservation: Propagating Knowledge.’ During this first month of 2021, MPavilion will present a far-reaching series of events exploring conservation, protection, reinvention, and maintenance in a growing city.

“It’s exhilarating to collaborate with the City of Melbourne, Creative Victoria, and all of our wonderful partners to make MPavilion Parkade a reality,” says Naomi Milgrom AC, founder of MPavilion. “In 2021, MPavilion’s thoughtful adaptation of Parkade car park honours the site as an important part of Melbourne’s architectural history, while giving it new life and significance. With this bold reimagining of such a central space, MPavilion demonstrates the possibilities that pre-existing sites can offer Melburnians as we reanimate the city post-Covid. MPavilion Parkade is the embodiment of design as a social practice—a sustainability-conscious, community-bolstering action that empowers hundreds of designers and creatives in the process.”

City of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp is equally enthusiastic about the launch of MPavilion Parkade. 

“Our city’s economic recovery is just beginning and we need new and innovative activations and events to encourage people to rediscover everything that Melbourne has to offer,” she said. “MPavilion Parkade will be a major drawcard while showcasing the famous creativity of our city. The City of Melbourne has been a supporter of MPavilion and the program for January 2021 is truly something special.”   

MPavilion’s January theme ‘Preservation: Propagating Knowledge’ encompasses a vast spectrum of events that looks to Indigenous knowledge and practices, the generation of adaptive spaces, communing with nature while empowering the young, and the embracing of radical new design approaches. As the primary location of January’s program, MPavilion Parkade will play host to a huge array of experiences, conversations, activities, and more, including architectural and design events, jubilant live music performances, interactive installations, and fun workshops for kids and families on school holidays.

Key events of January include a roller-disco with Malt Shop Rollers, a conversation about hope with Julian Burnside AO QC, circus classes presented by Westside Circus, a panel discussion about dining and the pandemic with Morroccan Soup Bar’s Hana Assafiri, Sunda’s Khanh Nguyen and Attica’s Ben Shewry a Chunky Move dance residency, a Margam dance class with Tara Rakjumar OAM and Nithya Gopu Solomon of Natya Sudha Dance Company, an architectural film screening curated by architect and filmmaker Toby Reed, a concert for dogs (and their humans) with Henry Wagons (in partnership with Melbourne Music Week), a discussion about the power of tapestry with Architects Peter Williams AM, Amy Muir and Australian Tapestry Workshop Director Antonia Syme AM, a climate change meditation led by yoga instructor and founder of Mistletone Records & Touring Sophie Miles, a breathwork soundscape with Make It Up Club curator Nat Grant and artist Dina Smirnov, Yogabean yoga classes for kids, and much more.

With over 500 collaborators presenting 400 free public events, including talks, performances, kid-friendly activities, and installations, MPavilion this year has taken on a critical role in the city by adapting its program to support community needs. By making adaptive re-use of the Parkade car park, and continuing to reanimate the MPavilions of previous years— including Amanda Levete’s MPavilion at Docklands, Bijoy Jain’s MPavilion at Melbourne Zoo, and Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten’s MPavilion at Monash University—MPavilion is responding to the challenges of the pandemic with creativity, community, and a revival of Melbourne’s outdoor and public spaces.

Now 93 years young, Parkade architect Peter McIntyre AO was very pleased to hear the news about the reimagining of his 1960’s design.

“I am absolutely delighted that MPavilion will be using the car park—it’s a very imaginative idea,” he said. “In the end, looking back on it, it is a true modernist building. Because it followed those very early principles of modernism in that it was clearly functional, no frills, no decoration, in some senses, very brutal. It’s very complimentary that we are going to have MPavilion hosting events here in this car park. I never imagined that happening!”

The rest of MPavilion’s highly accessible online events, talks, Hope St Radio at Melbourne Zoo streams, and Summer Reading Lists can be enjoyed on their specific event pages on our website, or in the MPavilion Library.