Decibel Architecture



Completion Date
Competition entry

National Gallery of Victoria

Decibel Architecture



The Playvilion was Decibel’s entry to the NGV Summer Pavilion competition. It is a place of play, joy, shelter and reflection that appeals to a vast demographic of Melbournians who are engaged with the NGV, and more importantly those that are not currently visitors. The Playvilion is founded on a simple premise; how can a space as prosaic as shelter be transformed by the diaphanous and immaterial into a space of wonder. One that is equally capable of making toddlers, teens and the wizened smile at the beauty of physics in motion.


The Playvilion provides controls for the public to request and vary the size, frequency and spacing of bubbles, while smaller bubble stations facilitate a direct interaction with hand cranked bubble makers, cannons and wands. The canopy is envisioned as a lightweight tensile membrane structure inspired by the works of Frei Otto, Yuncken Freeman, and Toshiko Macadam.

Bubble controllers are built into the flutes at low level for public interaction, while higher up audio and lighting controls are integrated into buds protruding from the flute stems. An integrated bubble machine is located at the top of each flute and protrudes through the membrane to broadcast bubbles to the Grollo Equiset garden and beyond.