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.
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.
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.
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.