NGV Triennial Outdoor Pavilions: BoardGrove Architects

NGV Triennial 2020 Outdoor Pavilions | BoardGrove Architects | Photographer: Rory Gardiner

While most small practices sharpen their teeth within the residential sector, BoardGrove Architects’ portfolio consists of a broad range of project types, from furniture to speculative villages. This is informed by Holly Board and Peter Grove’s combined experience working across various practices and sectors in Melbourne and London.

“Starting small with a variety of projects was our aim. From this we would build knowledge and experience along the way, developing a small studio that was agile and creatively diverse in scale and typology.”

This repertoire is founded on a common ambition “to create a strong and specific human experience.” The pavilions demonstrate this ethos; a celebration of lounging, socialising, dining and absorbing art and nature as a collective public.

The project called for an architectural response to accommodate socially distanced communal meals and the management of groups for two events that occurred as part of the Triennial festival. The brief originally asked for individual picnicking pods for groups of five people for the Summer in the Garden event and a larger dining area for the Triennial Extra event. Notably, this had to be achieved within a tight seven-week timeframe for design and construction.

“Once we started working through the design, we became concerned about the logistics of delivering two totally separate installations with such a short design and delivery program. We started thinking about whether we could design something that was able to adapt to serve both events without doubling up on materials, fabrication and costs.”

In response, BoardGrove challenged and expanded the brief, seeking to address constraints efficiently while also deeply considering both the user experience and the future environmental impacts of the structures themselves.

NGV Triennial 2020 Outdoor Pavilions | BoardGrove Architects | Photographer: Rory Gardiner

“In the early stage of designing the pavilions the concept for an adaptable structure and the ambition for an evocative experience that evoked memories of camping emerged. This set the framework for the design to evolve. Camping evokes a feeling of escape partly due to the editing down of what is necessary to shelter you and keep you comfortable, partly the immediacy of the environment in which you are present. This drove the expression and material choices of the pavilions.

”The pavilions comprised of a series of reusable components fabricated off-site and speedily assembled on site. Timber stud A-frames, reminiscent of the triangulated facade of RoyGround’s gallery, were attached to raised timber pallet platforms and draped with a translucent removable canvas held in place by rope. The project took on a design-build nature, with strong collaboration between the architects, builders, manufacturers and others involved in the event.

Situated among mature trees, garden beds and artworks, the site-responsive pavilions maximised the utility of their surroundings. The canvases provided shade and diffused light, with dappled shadows of foliage and branches animating their surface. At night, low-hanging pendants illuminated the platforms.

The pavilions simultaneously provided a sense of elevation and enclosure yet also immersion in the surrounding scene. The capacity to be inhabited or furnished in various ways lent an atmosphere of playful informality. Linear flat-pack dining tables designed by BoardGrove and chairs borrowed from the gallery could be arranged to orientate users in “the theatre of the evolving installation”.

Phillip Pender (BEnvs, MArch) is project officer at CityLab with experience in residential and multi-residential projects.

Published online:
19 Nov 2021

Source:
Architect Victoria
Edition 1
2022

More from Architect Victoria

Ozanam House: MGS Architects

Joshua Darvill, coordination, engagement and participation manager at Ozanam House provides a snapshot of the services provided, long-term sustainable outcomes and reassessing the needs of the community.

Read more

Architectural photography

A photo essay of architectural photography. Daniel Moore asked established architectural photographers about their first memorable project, finding their way into the profession and/or working with early career architects.

Read more

Investment in affordable housing quality: Why the industry should support it

Recently, we have seen many news stories pointing to the bounce back and now surge in house prices in our capital cities. With this, a host of public servants, politicians, residential property investors, and homeowners sit back content, another KPI met, clearly all is well in the garden. The low interest rates, the decades-long incentives rewarding this investment are working. But are they? Are we getting the housing infrastructure we need, in the locations and in the form and tenure required to build the Australia we need economically and socially?

Read more

Building a folio

We fell into our practice with little planning, much optimism and a dose of imposter syndrome. Our first project was to blame; a friend was starting a cafe and bar in a beautiful art-deco building on Carlisle Street and we were doing the fit-out. With the promise of a prominent built project on the horizon, we felt sure that we were on our way (spoiler: we were pretty wrong).

Read more

Richmond House: Therefore

Director Alex Lake shares how Therefore has spring boarded into residential architecture from a prior base of commercial work – “an atypical direction given most small practices begin with residential work”. 

Read more

Revisited: Some aspects of housing overseas

With more funding available than we’ve seen in a generation, there is the will to reimagine social housing sites. Architects, urban designers and public servants have duly taken up the subject. But how to frame the problem?

Read more

Generation Exchange

In the rapid exchange of information that is now a daily reality of contemporary practice there seems to be little time for wisdom. Speed rules. Communication is dynamic. Considered correspondence remains an obligation of our profession yet the hourly deluge of emails that we all deal with in practice is anathema to this fundamentally important component of our practising modality.

Read more

Brunswick Lean-to: Blair Smith Architecture

Brunswick Lean-to is a discrete addition to a heritage-listed weatherboard cottage. The project draws upon the ubiquitous lean-to it replaced; a colloquial structure often overlooked or demolished in the event of an extension. Blair Smith Architecture demonstrates sensitivity and depth of thought, addressing opportunities and constraints through site-responsive spatial planning and the packaging of multifunctional elements in a robust, utilitarian structure.

Read more

Process over product

Breathe’s project for Aboriginal Housing Victoria has been approached with rigour to deliver a high-quality project embedded with sustainable design principles and cultural engagement.

Read more

This is not my Country

This is not my Country, and because it’s not my Country, I cannot speak on its behalf. This statement is true for me, and almost every built environment professional in Australia, so how can we work on and with the Countries that we are responsible for fundamentally modifying?

Read more

Social housing architecture

A visual essay of contemporary social housing projects in Melbourne and regional Victoria from some of the architects and providers working in this important space.

Read more

Architect at Home: Nick Harding

Interview with Nick Harding, Principal of Ha Architecture.

Read more

The value of being a carbon neutral practice

Jeremy McLeod and Madeline Sewall of Breathe Architecture on sustainability, right-sized housing and building more with less.

Read more

Architecture as host

Can we improve the responsiveness of our architecture through our own experience?

Read more

Profile: Fowler & Ward

Interview with studio founders Jessie Fowler and Tara Ward.

Read more

Sorrento House: Cera Stribley

Learning from the existing architecture, Cera Stribley developed a framework for making subtle alterations synonymous with the original house.

Read more

Editorial: Lost for words

How we understand architecture, how we share its values and how architecture is situated within our changing world, is literally unthinkable without the written word.

Read more

Written and curated

Architectural journals are powerful agents in the story of architecture.

Read more

Profit, publish, and perish

Words in the university sector

Read more

Humour is a universal language

Sharp wit and a touch of well-timed sarcasm can be the first door for a populist audience to walk through in contemplating what is right and what is fundamentally wrong with our modern built environment.

Read more