In late 2013, our practice was entrusted with the masterplanning of Australia’s largest cemetery and the largest Victorian cemetery in the world, a cemetery with considerable heritage value, ecological constraints and complex operational issues. This task would not have been possible without our extensive understanding of the cemetery industry and the new challenges it now faces. As a site of State Significance, Rookwood must learn to survive and manage change with the parameters set by legislation. Important consultation with stakeholders and the NSW Heritage Office was undertaken as part of the consultancy Based on our calculations, Rookwood is expected to run out of burial space within the next 30 years, making it crucial and urgent to lay out a clear plan of management for its landscape and few burial areas left. “Where can efficiencies be found in land-use? How can we extend the life of the cemetery? What should the cemetery look like when full? Should the public be invited within for activities other than interring? How can Rookwood become the best of its kind, a benchmark for the industry? These are some of the questions posed and answered during an 8-month process. The result is a comprehensive report with more than 180 recommendations of practical, innovative and challenging ideas. 2017-18 Update: Implementation has started with fence replacement, new entry points, spoil re- use and recreational shared paths.

Rookwood Necropolis Masterplan

Catholic Metropolitan Cemetery Trust

Sydney, NSW

286 Ha

Consultancy Type
Lead- Small multi-disciplinary team

Largest cemetery in Southern Hemisphere