Each year since 2014, an outstanding architect is commissioned to design a pavilion for the Queen Victoria Gardens in the heart of Melbourne’s Southbank Art Precinct for the community to engage and share. This year, after years of trying, it is Glenn.
MPavilion is an ongoing initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, one proudly supported by ANZ.
“Given our interest in sustainable cities, it fits in beautifully with our aspirations for Melbourne in particular, but also for the country,” says ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott.
Every design idea needs to draw its inspiration from somewhere. For Glenn, that inspiration came in the form of a distant memory from a trip 30 years ago to jungle-shrouded, south Mexico and the historical site of Yaxchilán.
“I have a friend who’s a pilot and flies in there,” Glenn says. “We visited this ancient building which was fantastic. It was as if an octopus was growing over it. All these big ficus roots were all over it -consuming it,” he remembers.
“And then came lunchtime. To sit in the sun was terrible,” he says. Glenn suggested to the pilot and his fellow travellers that they have lunch in the shade of the wing of their aircraft in order to get some relief from the unbearable heat of the jungle.
After lunch, Glenn stayed back while the rest of the group continued on to have another look at the building.
“I got my rucksack and put it up against the wheel of the aircraft. I lay down and there was the wing of the aircraft – out towards Yaxchilán. What a beautiful level of shade provided by such a lightweight element, the wing of an aircraft,” he recalls thinking at the time.
During the initial design phase of the pavilion, Glenn had the sudden realisation he was designing the place he had experienced all those years ago.