Welsh + Major along with Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects  designed recent upgrades to the 140-year-old Castle Hill Cemetery, located on the land of the Bidjigal people in Dharug country. The Cemetery is managed by The Hills Shire, a CCANSW member.

The $3.78 million makeover included enhancing the amenity of the site, as well as increasing the burial capacity with more than 2000 new spaces for ash burials and a further 300 for lawn burials.

The initial brief was to respect and embrace the existing natural and commemorative character of this traditional bushland cemetery whilst creating a memorable and deferential cemetery landscape catering to the changing needs of the local community.

The Castle Hill Cemetery Upgrade project has recently been awarded a 2022 International Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.


The design outcome was achieved by enhancing and engaging with the 8.2-hectare bushland setting through well-considered insertions.

The masterplan rejuvenated the existing cemetery with new landscape works, walking tracks, parking areas, a new public internment vault, a public crypt, columbarium walls, an office building, and a new centerpiece, known as the Sanctuary, a sheltered space for people to come together and celebrate the lives of their friends and family in comfort and dignity.

The centerpiece of this new masterplan conceived by Taylor Brammer – The Sanctuary – led Welsh & Major to explore the idea of commonalities shared in grieving and celebrating; quiet contemplation and public proclamation.

The building form of The Sanctuary grew from the discussions on how one could empathetically provide the essentials for a space that deals with emotions that travel with ceremony – contemplation, mourning, celebration, and loss.

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