A Melbourne architecture practice has created a series of temporary pavilions for the National Gallery of Victoria for use during its Triennial exhibition.
The A-frame-shaped structures, designed by Board Grove Architects, act as picnic and dining pavilions and host the Tonka restaurant pop-up at the NGV.
The pavilions are located in the Grollo Equiset Garden, adjacent to an installation by the French artist known only as JR. The architects drew inspiration from the installation, named Called Homily to Country 2020, which takes the form of an open-air chapel with stained glass windows depicting portraits and the ecological degradation of the Darling river system.
“This got us thinking about simple structures associated with camping along riverbeds in the Australian bush,” said Board Grove Architects in a statement. “The casual informality of swags and tents, hung over branches or propped up with poles is a quintessential image of Australian summer ‘escapism’: a desire for escapism particularly craved by many Melbournians post months of intense pandemic lockdown.”
The pavilions are modular and are prefabricated offsite. They consist of raised decks made from custom timber pallets and A-frames made from pine. “The simple A-frame structure has a visual relationship to the triangulated facade of the existing NGV,” the architects said.
The raised decks act as benches for visitors to sit on in a picnic setting. When used as a dining space, the frames are also sheathed in canvas slung between the frames.
“Like being under a tent awning you feel like you are in an interior space but still in close proximity to the trees, long grass and artworks in the garden,” the practice said.
Due to the temporary nature of the installation, all the elements of the pavilions are designed to be recycled and reused, including the tables which are designed to be flat-packed and stored way for future large-scale dining events.
The 2020 NGV Triennial is on exhibition until 18 April 2021.