Driving our design approach is GAV re-using the 2015 Pavilion to create a new and evocative work of architecture. GAV is a traversable tensile net structure with a maze of technicoloured polypropylene cords hanging underneath.
As a fully climbable, interactive, multi-coloured play structure by day, GAV continues the NGV’s push to have children more involved in the Gallery’s program. But when night falls, GAV is re-programmed into a play area for the adults, becoming Melbourne’s hottest new hang.
GAV is also a nod to Roy Ground’s famous NGV entrance. Like the waterwall, visitors are invited to touch and interact with the structure. A series of intersecting arches continue Ground’s powerful entrance motif and create a series of complex and spontaneous spaces. GAV is a chameleon, an artificial rainbow of experience of light, tactility and materiality.
GAV transforms the current grid shell steel structure of Wardle’s pavilion into a series of unique spaces including an amphitheatre for performances or films during the night, shaded dining and drinking areas during hotter days, a climbing apparatus for kids with gallery fever, a fully manipulable hide-and-seek maze for young lovers and a tranquil surface for lying around, reading or just chillaxing.
GAV is inherently sustainable. John Wardle’s Summer Pavilion can be refashioned, repurposed, and reborn into GAV, a transformation that offers endless reconfigurations, functions and usages.
The repopulation of something entirely new and unique, both architecturally and programmatically, suggests a stronger, more marketable future use for the structure as a piece of landscape infrastructure or play equipment.
The construction process would involve first stripping the Wardle Pavilion back to its structure and placing it in hibernation for winter. A graceful and fitting end to a pavilion that saw so much joy during the summer, it will shed its leaves like the plane trees on St Kilda Road, leaving only the bones from which a new opportunity can arise.
At the close of the Winter Masters the grid shell structure will be dismantled and turned upside down. Intermediate structural pieces are used to form new arched wings to the project. The net and polypropylene cords are installed in spring and the commission opens to a full programme of events, including, perhaps Melbourne’s first Architecture and Design Cinema Festival.