Finalist 2020

Jackalope Pavilion

March Studio / Jackalope Group / Random International / CodBuild

A temporary gallery space for Random International’s Australian edition of ‘Rain Room’

The Jackalope Pavilion is a temporary gallery space for Random International’s Australian edition of ‘Rain Room’. The ephemeral experience of the artwork along with its limited residency is celebrated through the transient construction method of the architecture, and it’s disappearing act in blending with the typical cloudy Melbourne sky.

Design Excellence

Situated above the Prince of Wales car park in St Kilda, the pavilion is designed entirely around the requirements of Rain Room, the functional demands of its temporary home, and the potential re-use of the building and its’ components on another site.

The Jackalope Pavilion is an exercise in mediating between engineering and exhibition design, the architecture unites these two often competing constraints. The requirements included activation of a large open and underutilised space, an underslung water collection system, compliant access, all on top of a multi-level concrete carpark with a ‘wedding cake’ planning envelope to adhere to.

Design Impact

Elevated above Acland Street, the unusual typology turned to elevated display suites for inspiration and queues on constructability. Typically elevated for marketable views, the display suite model provided hints to the temporary and reusable, and celebration of the wonderfully utilitarian.

Whilst Rain Room itself will be relocated to its permanent home in 2022, the shed like structure will be unbolted and moved to another site.

Temporary site toilets were used to avoid landfill, and scaffolding façade system, implemented as an exoskeleton to provide both bracing and support for the Bondor panels, are both 100% reusable.

Design Transformation

Elevated and perched on stilts, the Jackalope Pavilion houses a 100 square metre field of continuous rainfall, however, sits lightly on its lodging, enabling access from the top level of the carpark and taking the opportunity to upgrade the facility with a lift for accessibility.

Design Innovation

In consideration of the future use of the building, bolted steel sections and dismantlable Bondor panels were implemented to form the primary structure and the base building.

Designed from standard tube and fitting scaffolding painted white, the seemingly un-designed quality of the resulting structure feathers the edges a volume defined by the art piece within.  This implementation of an age-old construction system seeks to blend its mass with the clouds beyond.

Despite appearing entirely random, the project is a natural iteration of other digitally crafted projects from March Studio which embrace technology and construction to create new forms of expression.

Other Key Features

Rain Room is an interactive environment engaging all the senses, allowing you to be fully immersed in the rain while simultaneously protected from it. The artists, Random International seek to explore how human relationships to each other and nature are increasingly mediated through technology. As a physical piece, Rain Room features 2500 litres of water falling from a suspended gantry, elevated five metres above a steel grated floor at 1000 litres per minute through 55,000 individually programmed nozzles. The water passes through the floor and is reticulated to the pump room where it is treated, and recirculated. The pavilion is one of inverse – where keeping water in is more important than keeping water out.

Architectural Design 2020 Finalists

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k20 Architecture / Knox City Council

Rod Laver Arena

COX Architecture / Development Victoria / Melbourne & Olympic Parks / Lendlease

In Absence

Edition Office / Yhonnie Scarce / National Gallery of Victoria

State Library Victoria Vision 2020 Redevelopment

Architectus / Schmidt Hammer Lassen / SLV


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SheltAir / Swinburne University of Technology / Enzie

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Cumulus Studio / Arts Centre Melbourne