Bunjil Place, Victoria

Designed by: fjmt
For client: City of Casey Floor area: 24500.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Social Award

Public Score
3.53 Function
3.75 Innovation
3.67 Creativity
Bunjil Place Andrew Chung Img 328 300Dpi
© Andrew Chung

Timber grillage.

About the Project

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. The largest local 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 our firm. The response from the community is extraordinary. 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 project’s concept arose from this inclusive sense of identity, and from the land, its history and nature. Two central themes arose from the culture of Wurundjeri, Bunurong and Boon Wurrung people, the traditional owners and inhabitants of this land. The first, a “The Meeting of Many Paths”. The second, “Bunjil” the Eagle.

The architecture began to form around the idea of an organic meeting of many paths. Gathering takes place under the protective and sheltering roof.

What’s unique about it

Bunjil Place has become the heart of Casey’s community and a vibrant arts, cultural, civic and leisure hub.
The sinuous roof element symbolises not only the traditions of the past, but a contemporary vision of the future, movement, technology and innovation, sheltering the central civic space and protecting occupants from the noise and pollution of the highway to create a welcoming back-drop for community life.
Bunjil Place encourages an egalitarian and democratic use by all community members.
The realisation of the timber gridshell was a technological and construction challenge utilising advanced computer generated design production and assembly technique.
Use of materials and products:
The timber grillage is a highly complex shape made of thousands of lamellas into the voluptuous glulam structure. An extremely high level of precision was achieved by the German supplier. The whole structure was provided in many parts and screw assembled on site in a kit of parts.
Artistic merit:
A warm and innovative structure that emphasises the lightness of the roof through a fluid, organic geometry and reinforces the openness and welcoming nature of the complex. The project is embedded in place with poetic reference to the culture of Casey’s first people
We conceived this project as an extended public ground plane and a broad sheltering roof unifying the hybrid uses of library, theatre and gallery.

01 Bunjil Place John Gollings
© John Gollings

Main foyer and civic space.

03 Bunjil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein

Community gathering space linking all functions.

065 Bunil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein

Community library entry.

55 Bunjil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein

Children library discovery space.

055 Bunil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein

Library gaming space.

Bunijil Place Trevor Mein Gallery
© Trevor Mein


23 Bunjil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein


14 Bunjil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein

Activated civic space.

10 Bunjil Place Trevor Mein
© Trevor Mein

Street view.

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