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By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Casey’s residents will soon discover the new arts hub and council offices at Bunjil Place’s opening festival on 27 and 28 October.
The $125 million precinct boasts massive features such as a three-storey library, 800-seat theatre, a multi-purpose studio space with retractable seating, a function centre and art gallery.
Aside from the overwhelming scale, there is plenty of thoughtful detail. Here are some of the less well-known features of Bunjil Place:

War memorial grove
The Narre Warren war memorial – including its historic marble monuments – has been relocated from outside the old council offices to Bunjil Place.
The pillars are fixed in a small bluestone amphitheatre, the words ‘We Will Remember Them’ blasted with red sand and inscribed into its floor.
Among the thoughtful details are 17 up-lights representing the first 17 ships that left Port Phillip bound for the Gallipoli campaign in October 1914.
On one of the marble pillars are a series of Morse Code dots-and-dashes, spelling ‘Lest We Forget’. The holes will become homes for red poppies during Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Public TV screen
A giant public screen will broadcast news, sports and family-friendly movies – as well as the plaza’s live entertainment – to the community plaza all day, every day.
The screen can be rotated 180-degrees to form a backdrop to ceremonies at the war memorial.

Giant grid-shell
The tall, hanging timber grid-shell forms the legs of Bunjil the Eagle at the building’s entrance. It’s described as the first of its type in the world.
The eye-catching centrepiece looms large in the 12-metre high glassed foyer.
It gives the illusion of a single strand of timber being bent and woven into the complex lattice pattern.
However it is in fact 90 thin strands of Promena timber seamlessly glued together.

Black-butt timber
Throughout the complex is stunning one-millimetre-thick black-butt timber veneer panelling – 6000 square metres of it from a single tree.
The story goes that the supplier had held onto the timber for several years, waiting for a project that could utilise it all in the one place.

Touchscreen
The foyer’s interactive touchscreen is expected to be a popular exhibit.
It allows multiple users to explore floating factoids on the City of Casey.
Press a thought bubble on the screen and find out about the Bunjil story as well as local sport, culture and places.
Users can also save their own avatar onto the screen.

 

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