MPavilion 2015: An Enchanted High-Tech Forest

Set to open in Melbourne this fall, MPavilion 2015 is a weather-responsive, high-tech forest canopy – and a beautiful example of technology transfer between the worlds of building architecture and nautical engineering.

The pavilion comprises of a series of tall and slender carbon poles, swaying in the wind like masts and supporting a roof of ‘petals.’ Each of the petals is a stunning 5 meters wide and a mere 3 millimeters thick. The petals are made from high-tech composite materials with pre-tensioned carbon fibre. This gives the structure flexibility, without compromising on its strength. Adding to the sensory effect, the petals light up at night and feature audio sensors.

The design is a collaboration between British architect Amanda Levete and mouldCAM – a company best known for working with advanced composite materials to create the complex curves, shapes and structures associated with today’s most cutting-edge super yachts. “We were at the very high end of composite manufacturing, working with strong, lightweight materials for grand prix-level boating, like the America’s Cup,” says Toby Whitfield, managing director of MouldCAM.

However, recently, they began applying their marine design skills to architectural and artistic projects. “Boats are a classic example of very complex curves and they also use very advanced materials. We began to use our understanding of new materials and manufacturing techniques to work with architects and artists to help them deliver points of difference.’

Set within the trees and flowers of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens, this enchanting forest will open to the public on October 5, 2015.