In Australian Aboriginal creation mythology Bunjil is a deity, often depicted as a wedge-tailed eagle, that brought the world and life into existence and now protects the land. Bunjil Place is a state-of-the-art civic centre some 40 km south-east of Melbourne, Australia, in Narre Warren, shortened from Narre Narre Warren, meaning the ‘meeting of many paths’.
Architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) were inspired by these two central themes in the culture of Wurundjeri, Bunurong and Boon Wurrung people, the traditional owners and inhabitants of the land where this building stands. The iconic soaring roof, like Bunjil’s wings, provides a sheltered state-of-the-art community meeting space with an 880 seat regional theatre, exhibition and function studios, a regional art gallery, community library and plaza, civic centre, council offices and an underground car park.
The AU$125 million project received the top prize, ‘Architecture of the Year’, for the International Design Awards 2017 and a Gold prize for two Architecture Categories: ‘Institutional’ and ‘Landmarks, symbolic structures, memorials, public’ and has won many other architecture, engineering and design awards.
An interconnecting foyer space is at the heart of the centre with two timber columns, each a diamond matrix of glulam beams, reaching from the bluestone floor to the grid shell roof. At the entrance to the foyer a 13m high glass fin-supported curved glass wall spans between the ground and the curved feature timber grillage. The glass fin consists of a twin fin assembly with bolted glass splice plate. A unitised curtain wall has been used on the South and West elevations with window wall and punch window façade systems on the ground, first and second levels.
Inhabit provided façade engineering and certification on the project.
LocationNARRE WARREN, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
ClientVIRIDIAN | MUTLIPLEX | SEELITE
DeveloperCITY OF CASEY