Architecture Blooms in Melbourne’s NGV Gardens

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Architecture Blooms in Melbourne's NGV Gardens
2015 Summer Architecture Commission by John Wardle Architects // © John Gollings
Architecture Blooms in Melbourne's NGV Gardens
2015 Summer Architecture Commission by John Wardle Architects // © John Gollings

The phrase “ephemeral architecture” might sound like an oxymoron at first: one thing would seem to imply impermanence, the other solidity and longevity.

But just as there are pop-up boutiques, there can be pop-up architecture – and if you pay a visit to the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Gardens over the summer, you’ll see an example.

As part of its new Contemporary Design and Architecture department – launched this March – the gallery has devised an annual Summer Architecture Commission, whereby architects and design firms can submit plans for an ephemeral work that can be dismantled at season’s end.

“Exhibiting architecture is part of our remit, so these commissions are a great way of linking ideas about architecture to our audience,” says Ewan McEoin, senior curator of contemporary design and architecture at the NGV.

The first work on display is a nine-metre-high, 18-metre-wide polypropylene canopy of hand-folded, origami-like fuschia blooms. This commission was extended by invitation directly to Melbourne architect John Wardle, but from next year the initiative will be an Australia-wide competition judged by a panel of industry experts. []

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