Project Details

Program: Crematorium and Chapel

Status: Built

Client: Gympie Funerals

Design Team: John Mainwaring

Project Team: Paolo Denti



RAIA QLD Chapter 2011, Sunshine Coast Regional Commendation

RAIA Qld Chapter 2011, Commercial Award



The design is a culturally innovative response to one of societies’ most intrinsic needs – appropriately dealing with the passing away of friends and family members.

Conceptual framework : The architectural and landscape expression of shadow and light, contrasts the often formal symbolism of suburban counterparts. Philosophically, traditional ecclesiastical form was abandon, making way for shaded and feathered active edges on the north elevation, subtly addressing the cemetery without dominating rural context and sanctity of the ‘memorial park’.

Public and cultural benefits :  90% autonomy and sustainability was required in the brief. This, together with abstracted utilitarian ‘farmyard’ imagery and interactive environmental integration, has been well received by local families who have strong links to the land. The synergy between natural gardens and spaces provides a spiritual, yet friendly and casual atmosphere, for all walks of life, to celebrate and remember the lives of mates and loved ones in this unique part of Queensland country.  

Relationship of built form to context  :   The site is a rambling, rural setting on the outskirts of Kingaroy, adjacent to the historic Baadinga Cemetery. On approach, down the poplar lined avenue, the building subtly folds out of fields of yellow and green, floating amidst an ‘oasis like’ pocket of eucalypts.  The integrity of landscape integration avoided the tendency towards superficiality and ‘iconic’ intrusion.   Concepts engaged with new and pre existing conditions :  The non-denominational ceremonial spaces, inside and out, reinterprets the  ‘bush chapel’ vernacular. With translucent corrugated clerestories, the interior hall opens generously onto protected outdoor gathering spaces, thoroughfares and lawn. All sit within an endemic landscape adjacent to surrounding fields with little modification to existing land form. Together with the administrative and consultation component, this ‘public’ zone is separated from the non public ‘service and process’ zone by a strong ‘cross’ shaped corridor spine which gives legibility, yet careful connectivity between all functions within the complex. Program :  Various public interface spaces ‘sleeve’ the ‘service and process’ zone addressing the landscaping and cemetery to the north. Public interface spaces include the ‘chapel’ hall, consultation rooms, administration, kitchen, outdoor cpaces, casket display, porte cochere and ancilliary facilities. The    
‘service and process’ zone contains mortuary, furnace room, staff facilities, casket manufacturing, plant, workshop, vehicle maintenance and storage. All these functions are accessed by a prominent central corridor system that in turn connects to carparking and servicing. Many entrances and exits, most of which have very different uses were required to address conflicts as well as being discreet from each other.