Creative People

Simplicity Outshines Decoration In This Year’s Winning MPavilion Chair Commission

Davidov Architects have taken out the MPavilion 10 Chair Commission with their strikingly simple Circle|Square stool.

The Melbourne firm was selected by this year’s MPavilion architect, Tadao Ando, from nearly 100 submissions — an MPavilion record! Learn more about their winning design below.

Bea Taylor
Editorial styling

Annie Portelli

Supported by MPavilion

Principal and founder of Davidov Architects, Robert Davidov.

The winning team from Davidov Architects includes Wendy Chen, Ben Schmideg and Robert Davidov.

The winning design!

The Circle|Square stool draws on MPavilion 10 architect Tadao Ando’s fascination and emphasis on the use of platonic circle and squares.

The winning team sought to design a stool that favoured form over decoration.

‘We hope our simple pine stool is seen by visitors as approachable but also in line with the architectural context and expression of Tadao Ando’s powerful MPavilion 10 design,’ says Robert.

Davidov Architects’ office space!

The design utilises locally grown and harvested Radiata Pine.

Tadao Ando’s MPavilion 10 design heavily influenced the design of the chair, which draws upon its circular canopy and square footprint.

The Circle|Square chair will be on site to use and view when MPavilion opens in the Queen Victoria Gardens on November 16.

Bea Taylor
Editorial styling

Annie Portelli

27th of July 2023

Australia’s leading architecture commission, MPavilion, turns 10 this year and promises to be an impressive showing of global and local architecture, art and design.

One of the highlights of every MPavilion edition is the Chair Commission, and this year’s competition saw nearly 100 submissions from Australia and across the world — the most received in MPavilion history.

Melbourne-based firm Davidov Architects took out the coveted spot with their Circle|Square design, selected by celebrated Japanese architect, Pritzker Prize Laureate and MPavilion 10 designer, Tadao Ando.

The simple pine chair draws direct inspiration from Tadao Ando’s fascination and emphasis on the geometry of circles and squares.

‘As someone whose work is informed deeply by geometry, I felt there was an important synergy between my investigations into the use of platonic circle and squares and the Circle|Square stool,’ says Tadao Ando.

‘The use of fundamental geometry to create ordered spaces and structures traces back to Ancient Egypt, and it was exciting to see this carried through in the captivating, pure design from the team at Davidov Architects.’

Looking to echo Ando’s MPavilion 10 design, to ‘capture the circle and square and little else’, the team at Davidov Architects — comprised of Robert Davidov, Wendy Chen and Ben Schmideg — came up with a simple chair concept featuring a square base and circular seat, made from seven pieces of locally grown and harvested Radiata Pine.

‘Circle|Square rejects notions of decoration, focusing instead on the selection of natural materials used honestly and on legibility of form’, explains Robert.

Sustainability was an essential component of the design, which aims to produce minimal waste in the fabrication process by using a single board for all elements of the chair. Treated pine alongside a natural penetrating sealant will also enable the timber to age gracefully.

‘It is an incredible honour to be selected by Tadao Ando, an architect we greatly admire,’ says Robert. ‘As a practice that is based in Melbourne, we are especially proud to be an integral part of such an important architecture and design festival, which is a vibrant cornerstone of our city.’

Naomi Milgrom AC, commissioner of MPavilion says, ‘We look forward to seeing the visual synergies between the square footprint of the pavilion with its circular canopy and the square footprint of the stool with its circular seat.’

Davidov Architects’ winning MPavilion 10 Chair Commission will be onsite to use and view when MPavilion opens in the Queen Victoria Gardens on November 16. Discover more here!

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