Budj Bim Cultural Landscape | Cooper Scaife Architects

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape | Cooper Scaife Architects | Photographer: Tess Kelly

2023 National Architecture Awards Program

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape | Cooper Scaife Architects

Traditional Land Owners
Gunditj Mirring


Public Architecture
Regional Prize (VIC)
AW Nicholson
Tess Kelly
Project summary

For over 30,000 years the Gunditjmara have lived and farmed the stony country that follows the path of the lava flow from Budj Bim down to Tyrendarra. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape has recently been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site with outstanding universal value.

CSA designed tourism infrastructure ranging from a lookout, to boardwalks, toilets, shelters, an Aquaculture Centre and café. The development is intended to provide an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable means of caring for country and to ensure the continuation of Gunditjmara culture for future generations.

Acting as an interpretive device, the architecture helps to make the cultural landscape legible to non-indigenous eyes. It frames views of important cultural features and leads the visitor through a curated experience of the landscape, with a consistent material palette reinforcing the message that the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is continuous, despite being physically fragmented by colonialisation.

Victorian Architecture Awards Accolades
Shortlist – Public Architecture
Shortlist – Regional Prize (Vic)
Victorian Jury Presentation

The designs for the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape allow for our Gunditjmara community to share our stories in important ways. The raised walkways allow us to bring visitors into the stony wetlands to learn about the ancient aquaculture systems that our ancestors engineered for over 6,000 years.

The walkways, lookouts and Tae Rak café provide places for our Elders, community and visitors to sit and share yarns and a feed.

The designs through the Budj Bim Cultural landscape are weaved together to share the complex and cohesive story of the Gunditjmara and contribute to our continuing connection with Gunditjmara country.

Project Practice Team

Bianca Scaife, Design Architect
Caitlin Phillips, Project Architect
Daniel Cooper, Design Architect
Tijana Dabic, Project Architect

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Accuraco, Project Manager
Beaton Building Consultancy, Building Surveyor
Brayley & Hayes, Land Surveyor
Ecology & Heritage Partners, Archaeologist
Introba (formlery Integral Group), Services Consultant
Lookear & Mono, Interpretive Designer & Graphic Designer
Site Office, Landscape Consultant
Sound Environment, AV Consultant
Tonkin, Structural & Civil Consultant
WT Partnership, Cost Consultant

Connect with Cooper Scaife Architects
Budj Bim Cultural Landscape | Cooper Scaife Architects | Photographer: Tess Kelly

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