“It represents modern Australia, and represents modern Victoria”
Jane Grover, CEO, Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

Bunurong Memorial Park

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Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust
790 Frankston-Dandenong Road Dandenong South Victoria 3175
April 2016
Full architecture services

11ha Site, Stage 1

100ha Overall Site With Future Stages

3,300m² GFA - Built Forms


Working with Aspect Studios, BVN designed a set of distinctive gardens arranged as a connected suite of intimate and public spaces bound by ‘quiet’ buildings with transparent portals that open directly to the garden setting. This series of garden vistas and rooms are in turn linked to the existing lake, now reimagined as the ‘heart’ of a broader network that will include future stages.

The widest possible range of reflective and celebratory events, are supported through buildings that include chapels, function rooms, café, florist and service centre. A particularly characteristic part is the pedestrian commemoration bridge which connects the central gardens to the curvilinear outdoor chapel which opens directly to the lake.

Materials and detail throughout the complex are identifiably Australian, there are distinctive native plants combined with rusted steel landscape walls, red earth paths and berms, reflective water pools, and rammed earth walls. The eucalypt timber joinery, interior and exterior colours extend the repertoire of the buildings being ‘reverential’ backgrounds to the colour and energy of the gardens.

At the core of the scheme is BVN’s commitment to the capacity of architecture and place making to evoke and suggest potent experiences. Buildings and spaces are designed to host occasions where what is accepted, intrinsic and essential about life can be experienced with heightened awareness.

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s ambition for Bunurong Memorial Park to be used as a destination for celebrations of all kinds and for all people is already being realised with a weddings being organised alongside funerals.

BVN provided full services from briefing through to contract administration.


790 Frankston-Dandenong Road Dandenong South Victoria 3175


The Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) VIC Chapter Award for Public Architecture
Melbourne Design Awards Gold Winner - Urban Design

Brief Elements

  • Commercial Kitchen
  • Café/Restaurant
  • Florist
  • Office Building and Integrated Workplace
  • Outdoor Amphitheatre
  • Extensive Landscaped Environment with Water Features and Specialised Garden Experiences


Aspect Studios
Landscape Architect, Signage and Wayfinding Consultant
Hansen Yuncken
Bonacci Group
Structural and Civil Engineers
Murchie Consulting
Mechanical, Electrical, ESD, Security, ICT, Fire Protection and Hydraulics
Quantity Surveyor
Ratio Consultants
MEL Consultants
Florencig Smith
Building Surveyor
Philip Chun
Alder Consulting
Audio Visual
Land Surveyor
PTA Landscapes
Water Feature Consultant
Fire Engineer
Chris Love Design
Kitchen Consultant
Tree Logic
Renzo Tonin & Associates
Acoustic Consultant
AS James
ECO Harvest
Environmental Consultant