Sydney Cemetery Design Wins Future Projects Commercial Award at WAN Awards

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An innovative cemetery model designed by CHROFI and McGregor+Coxall won the WAN Future Projects Commercial Award 2015.

The World Architecture News (WAN) Awards are an international architecture awards program with projects in 22 categories recognized throughout the year. The WAN Future Projects Commercial Award 2015 was awarded to CHROFI and McGregor+Coxall for their unique project Acacia Remembrance Sanctuary.

The winner was selected from a final shortlist of six projects by an experienced jury consisting of Mike Lampard, Design Director of Corstorphine + Wright; Robin Partington, Managing Partner of Robin Partington & Partners; and Paul Makowicki, director of Callison RTKL.

The winning entry, Acacia Remembrance Sanctuary, was designed to reflect the increasingly secular Australian society as well as changing community attitudes towards death and dying. This shift in personal beliefs and philosophies challenges the existing funeral industry and the establishment of traditional cemeteries.

Set in the idyllic setting of a protected woodland area on the outskirts of Sydney, Acacia Remembrance Sanctuary was conceived from the outset as a new model cemetery. Seeking to challenge the idea of ​​a contemporary cemetery, the design creates a site-wide experience with a particular focus on natural burials without headstones.

Some of the design highlights of the Acacia Memorial Shrine include the unique ecology of the bush where GPS technology is used to locate the resting place of loved ones; sustainability initiatives creating an “off-grid” facility; raised walkway at entrance winding above landscape through peaceful native parkland to walled garden; and threshold comprised of vine-covered gabion walls and an undulating waterline to enliven the mighty entrance hallway.

The gathering place, located in the heart of the cemetery, is an open-air multipurpose pavilion framed by a reflecting pond and surrounding picturesque gardens. An adjoining cafe invites visitors to enjoy a quiet landscaped courtyard with picturesque views and moments of peaceful reflection.

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