Curtin University Students, Master Plan Final Submission

Friday 16th June was D-Day for our Master’s Students, as nine of them pitched the merits of their project to both the Friends of St Peter’s and their lecturers Katherine & Simon.  Each student had 20 minutes to convince their audience that their project was The One.

Artist's impression of view inside shelter toward cemetery and church.
Artist’s impression of view inside shelter toward cemetery and church.

The standard of work was exceptional and the students had clearly put a lot of time and effort into their projects.  Some students had not only mapped every single tree on the site, but by variety as well- even The Friends learnt a few things here, did you know the main three varieties of trees are generally grouped with their own sort?  There was a diverse range of final designs from subtle installations gently hiding in the bush to large pavilions cleverly melting into their surrounds to a seven-storey tower – what would the views be like from there!

Artist's impression of exterior of shelter looking toward the river.
Artist’s impression of exterior of shelter looking toward the river.

Key components of the brief by The Friends were; shade, toilets, power and a way for the memorialisation and internment of ashes.  Some students addressed the memorial need very well, by incorporating it into their pavilion structures or utilising the old fence line.  Most included solar power and rainwater harvesting, the toilets were many and varied.  Triangles and circles were popular shaped buildings.

Drawing of Teik Lean's swale design.
Drawing of Teik Lean’s swale design.

One student observed the water erosion at the back of the church and came up with a swale/ terracing solution with stairs turning it into a usable space and managing the erosion at the same time.  Another linked St Peter’s to walking trails along the Avon by diverting the pathway up to a picnic space and ablutions.  Several students incorporated camping facilities often on raised platforms.

Nearly every project had some element that could harmonise in a final design; walking paths, not only from the Avon, but throughout the site, relocated parking, low memorial walls, shaded pavilions, erosion control and circular toilets.  The students observed the site with totally new eyes and saw things that those of us who have spent our whole lives visiting had never noticed.

These projects have created many avenues for subtly reinvigorating this special place.