School of Design

Ken Yeung

Rethinking East Perth Cemetery

The project is to research a typology of re-using a ‘forgotten’ cemetery and transforming it into a 'place'. The East Perth cemetery was chosen as the site.

The project investigates spaces that allow contemplation while at the same time exhibiting the relevance of their own existence in relation to time, place and issue. The project is a new facility for the existing East Perth Cemetery, incorporating a new crematorium and a new visitor centre as a response to current cultural and social needs

East Perth had its first transformation when most of the cemetery hill area was redeveloped. The cemetery is the only part of what remains of its history; however, the cemetery’s history was buried by the surrounding development. Although the site was symbolic, it failed to promote its historical and cultural value to the society.

Cemetery is a place that generates intimate phenomena within an invisible field of energy. The project is inspired by this idea. The wall is to reinforce this ‘energy’ and to differentiate from its surroundings.

With the new funeral service facilities, major programs are located on two ends of the site to accommodate specific users and access. To re-connect the two ends, existing trace becomes the new procession path, with small shelters providing shade, view and public amenities. The wall then integrates with the scattered proposition. With the un-defined threshold, the atmosphere is shaped, yet the overall vagueness is retained.