- City of Casey
- Taylor Thomson Whiting
- Murchie Consulting
Bunjil Place is a library, a performance theatre, a public gathering space, a place of exhibition, gallery and display, a flexible and experimental space for events, lectures, debate and celebration, it is a help point, a service centre and a place of work and collaboration. Above all perhaps, it is a place where all of this overlaps and interconnects and at the centre is the interconnecting fluid form of the foyer gathering space, a non-hierarchical space that unifies the complex.
Bunjil Place is an example of a new form of community and civic building. Its innovative typology is the result of a competitive design process, long term collaboration with City of Casey and stakeholders and in depth coordination with sub consultants and contractors.
Our design vision seeks to create authenticity and “place” for Narre Warren and the City of Casey. This is of prime importance given the identity loss that resulted from the development of the semi-rural residential towns into a major growth corridor and the rapid expansion of new housing developments.
Our approach reinforces the history and diversity of the area and will help keep alive the stories that have shaped the community that continues to grow and evolve. Our sources of inspiration is that of Cathy Adams’ 2001 artwork, “The Meeting of Many Paths” and the Bunjil Eaglehawk; both central themes to the culture of the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners and inhabitants of the land. The project has created a community heart and place of culture within the context of a monoculture of housing and retail.
The largest local Victorian government investment of its kind, the success of the project is the result of an aspirational brief and long term collaboration with the client, consultants and integrated disciplines within fjmt. Where once the community travelled long distances to access high culture, live entertainment and quality learning environments, a compelling local alternative avoids significant emissions and congestion generated in travelling to the city.
The precinct improves accessibility, accountability and transparency of local government services, with offices occupying a wing of the building allowing for government to better interact with residents and businesses alike.
The gridshell was a technological and construction feat utilising advanced computer generated design production and assembly techniques in addition to long term collaboration with manufacturers. This is an architecture drawing together advanced systems with the most traditional and essential systems.
A warm and innovative design emphasises the lightness of the roof through a ﬂuid, organic geometry while reinforcing the open and welcoming nature of the complex to reach out to the public open space. The sophisticated use of ‘curve’ allows a large complex to achieve a welcoming, human scale building which is equally exciting and approachable for the local community.
Bunjil Place’s identity reflects community values which is ‘to be the city of choice to live, work and raise a family.’ The precinct encourages an egalitarian and democratic use by all community members, and reflects the history and diversity of the area promoting civic pride. Inclusivity is considered in its open, welcoming spaces to congregate and dwell. Active and passive setting encourage public gathering, performance and discourse at all scales.
Community has been considered at all levels. For the City of Casey, the building is a cultural civic heart, and encourages an egalitarian and democratic use by all community members.