Bunjil Place

Narre Warren, VIC

Award-winning complex timber gridshell, the first of its kind seen in Australia

Bunjil Place provides the community with a cultural hub in Melbourne’s east. This innovative project has nine major award wins to date, including the 2018 Australian Timber Design Award – Excellence in Timber Design and the Victorian Australian Engineering Excellence Award. Designed to become a cultural hub in Melbourne East, the new building involved intricate design challenges and delivery to demanding timeframes.

The building’s dominant feature is a timber gridshell, the first of its kind in Australia, that defines the main atrium. This impressive central area incorporates a 12m high glass Façade facing a large community plaza area beyond. With the shell made from geometrically complex 3D forms, our team undertook a detailed form-finding investigation, which required modelling of the timber grillage as a structural load-bearing element supporting the roof. Our team worked alongside the chosen fabricator, Hess Timber, to develop an effective construction methodology that dealt with tight tolerances, a large number of connectory interfaces and protects the exposed timber surfaces.

The remainder of the freeform roof structure is constructed of steel with spectacular cantilevers at the building edges. TTW’s engineers worked closely with architects and timber contractors to optimise the timber roof form within the spatial design constraints. The multiple functions of the building created particular design challenges, especially in regards to acoustic separation.

The new facility also provides large landscaped external areas, including an amphitheatre, reading gardens and grove area. TTW’s services were extended to encompass: large scale site earthworks; carpark design; overland flow analysis; stormwater infrastructure design and augmentation; WSUD; pavement and site grading; and construction phase services.

Client: Casey City Council

Architect: FJMT

Builder: Multiplex

Value: $125M

Completion: 2017

Sector: Government & Public, Art & Culture

Services: Timber, TTW Advance, Structural, Civil, Façade

Awards

  • 2018 – ATDA – Excellence in Timber Design
  • 2018 – ATDA – Excellence in the use of Timber Products – Timber Veneers
  • 2018 – ATDA – Excellence in Timber Design, Public or Commercial
  • 2018 – AEEA – VIC – Excellence Engineering Award
  • 2018 – AIA VIC – The William Wardell Award for Public Architecture
  • 2018 – Australian Interior Design Awards – Commendation’ for Public Design
  • 2018 – International Design Awards – Architecture of the Year
  • 2018 – International Design Awards – Gold – Institutional
  • 2018 – International Design Awards – Gold – Landmarks, symbolic structures, memorials, public