The Werribee Mausoleum was recently expanded to create 170 new resting places for deceased loved-ones in the Werribee cemetery.

The project comprises two distinct structures; a new garden Mausoleum to the east of the original building, containing 140 outward-facing crypts (doubling the original capacity); and a series of Family Mausolea to the west of the original building, comprising four intimate family rooms and chapels which accommodate five or ten resting places each.

The new additions flank the original structure designed by BAU and expanded on the symbolism and monumentality of the original design. The dramatic Corbusian pre-cast roof form is extended over the new additions, but a space is reserved between new and existing at ground level; a punctuation mark. At the eastern end, this gap forms a new entry, in keeping with the original masterplan. To the west, the space is filled with garden, signaling a new interpretation of the design language and layout of the original structure to better frame the Family Mausolea.

Where the eastern addition continues the original materiality of in-situ concrete and stone shutter faces, the Family Mausolea to the west has a different offering. Each family room has a landscaped forecourt for gathering, protected by the floating concrete canopy and paved with bluestone, which continues into the interior. 

Patterned anodised aluminium screens provide a veil of privacy to mourners inside, while openings frame glimpses of the cemetery's renowned olive grove to the north. Northern light beams in, dancing ephemeral rays through interior. The concrete and stone of the exterior softens into rose-coloured Australian granite crypt shutters within the chapels; when combined with vertical cedar paneling, they cast a warming, intimate glow throughout each space.

A niche in the southern wall of the Family Mausolea acts as an altar for photographs, memorabilia and religious icons. Surrounded by a halo of stained-glass windows, coloured and patterned light enriches the interiors. The play of colour, light, pattern and movement, creates an ethereal, yet welcoming space.

Respectfully bookending the original mausoleum, these new additions create much-needed additional resting places and warm, reverent Family Mausolea in which to remember and honour loved-ones.

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About Werribee Cemetery

Since the cemetery was established in the 1860's, it has built strong connections with local communities.

The monuments and markers found across the grounds represent a broad cross-section of Werribee’s diverse multicultural history.

The cemetery is also home to both a public mausoleum and a number of private mausolea. Natural features of the cemetery include beautiful rose gardens, an avenue of gum trees and a 75-year-old Bunya-Bunya Pine.

The Werribee Cemetery is administered and managed by the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (Melbourne, Victoria, AU)GMCT Melbourne Logo