Adaptive Carpark takeover shows the power of art

Over 500 collaborators will be working with MPavilion for 2021. Courtesy MPavilion

From tomorrow, the 8 January 2021, MPavilion will take residency at the architecturally significant Parkade Carpark, in Little Collins Street Melbourne.

Designed by Melbourne architect Peter McIntyre AO, the Carpark located at 34 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, is an extraordinary contribution to the City of Melbourne’s recovery strategy. MPavilion Parkade will be a highly-accessible cultural destination, hosting events, workshops, and performances designed to stimulate, entertain and engage the public, 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 designed—MPavilion will use the Parkade car park as a new home for its unique, multi-faceted program of public events and community experiences. The Parkade was designed by Peter McIntyre of one of Australia's most prominent architectural firms known as Mclntyre Partnerships.

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 later modified. This adaptive re-use 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.

Images (left to right) Breathwork Soundscape, Infinity Parasite Slow Art Collective, Chunky Move

Parkade architect Peter McIntyre said, “I am absolutely delighted that MPavilion will be using the car park—it’s a very imaginative idea. It’s a useful thing to do with it because cars are on their way out. In the end, looking back on it, it is a true modernist building. 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 gathering there, and I never imagined that happening!”

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 reanimating the MPavilions of previous years— including Amanda Levete’s MPavilion at Docklands, Bijoy Jain’s MPavilion at Melbourne Zoo, and Rem Koolhaas and 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.

MPavilion Parkade January 2021 highlights:

  • MKids: Yogabean Kids Yoga every Friday of January, 10am—10.30am & 11am—11.30am Dedicated to helping children aged 2—11 years develop physical, mental and emotional skills, each Yogabean class integrates the latest research and practices into age-appropriate mindful, relaxing yoga games set to energising and uplifting music. Families welcome.

  • MMeets: The Subjective Conditions of Mapping Sunday 10 January, 2-4pm Explore the creative act of mapping by experimenting with varied strategies to make maps which reference places of personal significance.

  • MMusic: Rock Academy 22 January 16, 3pm - 5pm After a week of songwriting and rehearsal at Rock Academy's famous holiday workshops, some of Melbourne's finest teenage musicians will hit the stage and present a range of original and cover songs.

  • MKids: Grass, twigs, leaves!: Botanical Monoprinting workshop Sunday 17 Jan, 10.30am-12pm Children aged 5—12 and their parents/guardians are invited to join Yarra Ranges-based artist and educator Bronwyn Ward for a morning of making monoprints of grass, twigs, leaves, seedpods, fronds, and flowers.

January highlights including Chunky Move, Margam Lineage, Breathwork Soundscape, and Melbourne Carbonscape.

  • MTalks: BLAKitecture: Design Obligations Monday 18 January, 6.15pm - 8pm This new installment of MPavilion’s BLAKitecture Indigenous architecture series explores the responsibilities we all share as humans temporarily inhabiting Country, and questions how shifting our perspectives and priorities might influence the way we design.

  • MTalks: Future Proofing: Preserving Contemporary Tapestry through Architecture Wednesday 20 January, 6.15pm Architects Peter Williams AM, Amy Muir and Australian Tapestry Workshop Director Antonia Syme AM explore historical connections between architectural space and tapestry, and explore ways that tapestries could transform public and private space in the future.

  • MTalks: Julian Burnside AO QC in Conversation Thursday 21 January, 6.15pm - 7.15pm Aleks Hammo sits down with Australian barrister, human rights and asylum seeker advocate, and author Julian Burnside AO QC to discuss meaning, work, hope, and much more.

  • MKids: Melbourne Carbonscape 27th January, 10am—11am (MPavilion Parkade) In this workshop for 12—14-year-olds, construct a visual physical landscape of statistics and strategies to represent Melbourne’s push to carbon neutrality. Presented by MPavilion’s M_Curators program, in collaboration with artist-researchers from Local Alternatives and the Creative Agency Lab at RMIT.

MPavilion is supported by principal partners, the City of Melbourne, the State Government of Victoria through Creative Victoria, RACV, and major partner Dexus.

For more information and to see the full line-up, check out their website here!


Dates: 8 January - 5 April 2021

Location: Parkade Carpark - 34 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Times: Various times for different events

MPavilion Website