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The design

Landscape architects Plan E were employed to design the Place of Reflection, marrying the natural beauty of the Kings Park site with the healing intent of this important new community space.  The Place of Reflection project won the Excellence Award for Landscape Architecture at the 2012 Australian Institute for Landscape Architects (WA) awards.

The Place of Reflection has been designed to provide an experience that creates:

  • the sense of entering a special place
  • the symbolic walk – alone or in company – along a path that others have taken before
  • opportunities to pause for reflection or quiet contemplation before gradually entering back into everyday life.

A wheelchair-accessible winding pathway, inscribed with words of inspiration, leads visitors through the space, and provides opportunities for meditative walking. There are also seating nooks along the pathway where visitors can stop to reflect and absorb nature’s sights and sounds, and two wooden decks (with seating) overlooking the escarpment that provide spectacular views of the river, cityscape and hills beyond. These wooden contemplation decks are framed by beautiful copper filigree archways into which the silhouettes of a Western Australian eucalypt have been laser-cut. At night, these are lit from within to beautiful effect.

At the end of the walking path is a large, covered pavilion area – the Marlee Pavilion – that provides a sheltered space suitable for holding organised events, with power available to the site. The open-sided pavilion provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and can seat 50 people or provide standing room for up to 80 people.

All building materials within the Place of Reflection have been chosen to blend sympathetically with the natural environment.  The seating, decking and the timber lining in the pavilion are constructed using recycled seasoned jarrah, while the pavilion is constructed predominantly from steel. Decorative laser-cut filigree screens, incorporating the silhouettes of a Western Australian eucalypt, feature in the pavilion and in the archways framing the contemplation decks. These screens have an earthy copper finish that complements the colours of the natural environment.

The following organisations worked together to bring the Place of Reflection vision to life:

Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS); Healing Hearts Foundation (founded by the Rotary Club of Heirisson); Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Kids WA; The Compassionate Friends WA; Soroptimist International of South Perth; Lotterywest; Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority; and Friends of Kings Park.