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East Perth Cemeteries Visitor and Volunteer Facilities

Designing a building for a historic cemetery raises many questions about the approach and form of the intervention. Closed in the early part of the 20th Century, East Perth Cemeteries is one of WA’s most significant places, providing a tangible record of the State’s early history and pioneering families. It is both a historic site and a place of memorialisation. Minimising the impact of the intervention, the new building is located on a degraded section of the site, providing opportunities for restoring the landscape character around the intervention.

Set down into the ground, the single building is actually a number of buildings and structures constrained within a defined area. The whole is enclosed within a timber slatted screen wall. The spaces within the screen are both interpretive and contemplative and built around a central tree. Sunk into the ground the visitor is aware of the landscape and encouraged to think about the notions of interment.

Undertaken for the National Trust (WA) the building design forms part of a long-term masterplan.

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