Harkness development to reimagine tradition

Harkness development to reimagine tradition

McGregor Coxall has been named as part of an illustrious consortium tasked with designing the masterplan for Harkness Cemetery, Melbourne’s largest memorial site in over 100 years.

Commissioned by the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (GMCT), the multidisciplinary consortium comprising Aurecon (lead), Architectus, McGregor Coxall and Greenshoot won the design competition for the development of a masterplan for a new cemetery and parklands. The 128-hectare greenfield site in Melbourne’s west attracted 24 comprehensive submissions from across the world.

Miranda Wilkinson, Melbourne Co-Studio Leader and Project Manager, applauded GMCT’s ambitions for the site.

“We are incredibly humbled and excited by the opportunity to be a part of a consortium of decorated professionals tasked with fulfilling the shared vision of such an ambitious client in GMCT,” said Wilkinson. “Aligned directly with our commitment to innovation and resilient placemaking, the site provides a significant opportunity to invoke positive social and environmental change through a manifesto that will be world-leading in its approach to memorial design. Core to our approach is the celebration of First People’s knowledge and culture and honouring the Wurundjeri people as the site’s Traditional Owners.”

Alistair Adams, Principal and consortium lead from Aurecon, said: “The Harkness Memorial Park site presents a significant and timely opportunity to reimagine traditional cemetery design. Our team seeks to set a new benchmark for sustainability, restoration and repair, engagement, honouring memorialisation and enhancing the public realm. “We share in the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s compelling vision and look forward to working in collaboration with the wider community to create a world-class memorial park for many generations.”

The Chair of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, Michael Doery said: “I am pleased to announce that the team of Aurecon, Architectus, McGregor Coxall and Greenshoot has been chosen as the successful consortium to work with us to develop a master plan for the greenfield site at Harkness. The state of Victoria has a once-in-a-100-year opportunity to work with the community to build a world-class asset that provides comfort to families.”

A broad, social values-based approach will drive masterplan development through a thorough engagement strategy that ensures the needs and aspirations of the site’s Traditional Owners, communities and stakeholders are listened to, understood, and reflected.

The masterplan will consider multi-use purposes for the site and is treating the site as a valued community open space with a host of potential uses in addition to a public cemetery.

Design phases will commence in September 2021, earmarked for completion in June 2022. Stage 1 construction will commence in line with GMCT’s agreed needs and following our funding and approvals process.

You can find out more about the Harkness development here.

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