The Atrium of Holy Angels Mausoleum at Melbourne’s Fawkner Memorial Park has been shortlisted for a 2018 Victorian Architecture Award.
The awards, which celebrate profound examples of public architecture, have recognised the mausoleum for its ability to “instigate a conversation between architecture, landscape and the role of memorial," according to the Australian Institute of Architects.
This is achieved in the form of a striking circular structure consisting of eight separate blocks that sit around a central landscaped courtyard, providing above ground burial for 672 people.
According to managing director of Harmer Architecture, Philip Harmer, the mausoleum’s design offers longevity for those who will continue to visit their loved ones.
“This is a logical extension of the other types of work we do which involves public spaces. It’s an active public space that people visit, it isn’t just about death,” he says.
“There is a large community of Italian heritage who live in Melbourne’s North, many of whom want significant memorials such as community mausoleums. Many people in the local community visit their deceased relatives regularly and for long after they have gone.”
Harmer believes that the crypts need to allow people options when they are purchasing, which he incorporates into his design through the circular shape and internal and external landscaping.
"It’s all about the landscape and giving people choice by facing every direction of the compass. It becomes more of a pavilion than a building," he says.
The winners of the 2018 Victorian Architecture Awards will be announced at the awards dinner on 29 June 2018. Winners of each category will then progress to compete in the National Architecture Awards program.