Ahead of the 2020 Triennial summer outdoor dining program, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) received a collection of outdoor pavilions by Boardgrove Architects.
The installations are located in NGV International Garden and are mostly used as picnic spaces for visitors, but for one month only are being transformed into formal dining spaces. The pavilions are centred around work from French photographer and street artist JR, that focus on the Murray Darling Basin. JR is best known for his work combining art and action and linking to commitment, freedom, identity, and limits
This work inspired Boardgrove to think more about the Australian landscape and experience, particularly camping in the outback and along riverbeds in the bush. Interest around the simple aspects of the experience including swags, tents that are typically hung over branches or held up by poles also presented some inspiration on the project. Boardgrove stated from this came “a quintessential image of Australian summer ‘escapism’: a desire for escapism particularly craved by many Melbournians post months of lockdown.”
As for the design of the structures, each has a distinctive A-frame that is surrounded by mature tree branches and a raised lower platform to prevent any intrusion to the ground below. This in turn allows those enjoying their lunch or dinner experience to be transported to the peaceful, and dazzling surroundings offered when camping in the Australian outdoors.
Building the structures also came with considerations to sustainability for the team, who aimed to incorporate materials that would one day be used again as the installation will not be permanent. Boardgrove said, “the raised decks are custom pallets factory made that can be reused after the event. The A-frame structures are made from pine and can be recycled/repurposed”. Meaning the gorgeous pavilions will be transformed and given new life in another project.
The overall construction time was a small 7 weeks, with Melbourne emerging from lockdown in October 2020, ahead of NGV’s triennial exhibition which began in December. CBD Contracting and Boardgrove team worked in unison to make materials off-site and join them together onsite to ensure the project was done in a timely manner.
With the pavilions fully built and in use, many are flocking to the gallery to dine amongst the gorgeous nature and art on display.
Images via Boardgrove Architects