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The Federation Square of Melbourne's east takes shape

The Federation Square of Melbourne's east? When put in those terms City of Casey's Bunjil Place takes on a project of strong social significance for both the municipality and Melbourne at large.

With as many as 12 individual spaces within the Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp-designed civic project, the construction process is naturally as intricate as the building itself. Under the guidance of Brookfield Multiplex construction has hit full stride a second tower crane recently installed.

Additionally, the official May project update shows that the concrete structure for a large part of the site has reached ground level.

Next up we’ll be pouring the studio slab, first level of the theatre seating and first suspended slab, including the function centre, kitchen and part of the City of Casey Customer Service Centre. Work is also being undertaken to prepare for the below ground substation and tank room slabs and the first of the pre-cast panels for the fly tower are being installed.

Bunjil Place Construction Update 05
Bunjil Place under construction

According to Root Projects which is acting as project manager and superintendent, spaces and services slated for $125 million Bunjil Place include:

  • An 800 seat performing arts centre covering 3,500sqm with associated front of house and foyer, green rooms, fly tower, orchestra pit, rehearsal and technical services.
  • 500sqm art gallery and 500sqm multi-purpose studio.
  • Community library and meeting rooms and civic customer service centre covering 1950sqm.
  • Cafe and kitchen.
  • Basement and at-grade car parks, loading docks, service areas and storage.
  • Council service area incorporating reception service desk, call centre, meeting booths, meeting rooms and foyer.
  • Council office accommodation.
  • Council function venue and support spaces capable of seating 350 people.
  • 5000sqm open space are and community plaza.
Artist's impression of a completed Bunjil Place. Image: Architecture AU

As part of a AECOM event held yesterday outlining timber construction applications, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp Principal Geoff Croker outlined the extensive role that timber will play in the final appearance of Bunjil Place.

Most prominent is the continuous timber lamella that will span the building's ground level ceiling with the project's foyer also framed by the dipping structure. The lamella shapes as a feat of engineering with a Swiss firm also involved in the design and engineering of the prefabricated structure which will be assembled onsite.

With timber and steel prominent externally, the building will also employ a curved glass façade allowing for a high degree of transparency.

A community plaza will be the centrepiece of Bunjil Place's external amenities.

Bunjil Place under construction

Brookfield Multiplex expect the 24,500sqm building to create more than 1,200 job opportunities while at construction and inject approximately $83.5 million into the regional economy plus $151.8 million into the Victorian economy.

Bunjil Place is due for completion in late 2017 and will reportedly attract in excess of 1 million visitors per annum.

The civic precinct is not the only project of note under construction in Casey with the nearby $120 million St John of God Berwick Hospital also sporting dual tower cranes in addition to those of Bunjil Place's; a rare sight indeed for the municipality which is 50 kilometres east of Melbourne's CBD.

2 comments

SYmlb's picture

I wonder how they will deal with the irrigation in that area as it is reclaimed flood plains? Anyone who is familiar with the area will be aware of the amount of rain water that floods Princes Highway even with moderate rainfall.

Otherwise a great project. Hope this leads to higher density in the long term.

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Steve Raider's picture

That looks so much better than the west side.

Next can we redo the west side?

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