Melbourne’s Bunjil Place has received the ‘Architecture of the Year’ award for the International Design Awards 2017.

Bunjil Place also picked up gold awards for two architectural design disciplines: ‘Institutional’ and ‘Landmarks, symbolic structures, memorials, public’.

Designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt), Bunjil Place is the City of Casey’s new $125 million arts, cultural and entertainment precinct for Melbourne’s south-east.

The overarching vision for the precinct is “to create an inviting central heart for the community that celebrates participation, belonging and pride”.

The International Design Awards (IDA) exists to recognise, celebrate and promote legendary design visionaries and to uncover emerging talent in architecture, interior, product, graphic, and fashion design.

“This is a wonderful international architectural accolade and we congratulate the City of Casey for their aspirational brief and close collaboration on the project. Bunjil Place was designed to be an inspiring and welcoming place for the whole community that deepens our connection to place and each other,” says Richard Francis-Jones, design director of fjmt.

“So, while recognition in the form of international design awards is much valued, more important has been to see the community embrace Bunjil Place as their own,”

“Sources of inspiration for the design included “The Meeting of Many Paths” and Bunjil the Eaglehawk, both central themes to the culture of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners and inhabitants of the land,” he says.

City of Casey mayor Geoff Ablett said Council was honoured that Bunjil Place received such recognition, saying “the remarkable, iconic design of Bunjil Place has helped Council create a welcoming and enlivening destination for local residents and visitors to come together, make community connections and enjoy many exciting entertainment, arts and culture experiences.”

According to Hossein Farmani, founder and president of IDA, "I would like to congratulate fjmt on winning our most prestigious award in architectural design - The Architecture Design of the Year. Their award-winning work, Bunjil Place is outstanding in many respects, from its startling and beautiful lines to its inspired use of both modern and classical materials, and especially its purpose of providing the community with a space to collaborate, create, and celebrate.”

“We believe that architecture is not just about designing the physical space, but also creating something that will inspire and enrich the lives of the people who will pass through it. Bunjil Place is a marvellous example of this, and how architecture can portray and promote art and creativity for future generations," he says.