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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 Design
"I sat on the seat with my husband and cried, letting myself acknowledge long-held grief. I felt engulfed by warmth, held and protected…"

A daughter remembering her parents

"The Place of Reflection is unique… The view from its location on the scarp of Kings Park is simply magnificent, and the design of the place itself blends beautifully with the natural bush surroundings… What a lovely, peaceful place to go to remember a loved one."

Tuart Place staff member

"A place of peace, calmness, beauty, tranquillity and freedom - I felt like I was in a space where I didn’t have to think about anything. I could reflect or meditate or just enjoy."

Perth Home Care Services staff member

"My friend and I come here together. We sit on the bench, two widows sharing our memories of our partners."

Place of Reflection visitor

"The discreet location amongst nature with such a superb outlook enables individuals and groups to reflect and heal without judgement."

King Edward Memorial Hospital, Grief & Loss Council member

"We really appreciate the sense of peace and serenity that settles on us when we are there."

Adoption Jigsaw staff member

"We can share this place with those needing a quiet time, somewhere to sit quietly or grieve... a place with nature, somewhere they might find peace, calmness, even closure."

Mareena Purslowe & Associates staff member

"We can share this 'A place of complete peace to just reflect and let your worries in the world go. And a place to reflect on the loved ones lost in your life and to honour them.' With those needing a quiet time, somewhere to sit quietly or grieve... a place with nature, somewhere they might find peace, calmness, even closure."

Anglicare staff member

"We really could not have had a more ambient or beautiful setting."

Cystic Fibrosis WA staff member

"The Place of Reflection is an important place to myself and my family. We are able bring our sadness to this place and turn it into a reflection that deepens our lives and our compassion for all those who suffer loss."

Soroptimists International member

"It is a lovely place for thought, meditation and comfort in nature, a place to find peace in the chaos of life."

Place of Reflection visitor

"I really like the words on the path as well as the words on the bench. If you have come through a time of grieving, you do at times feel very alone – particularly if you have experienced the loss of a life partner. The words on the bench ‘You are not alone’ were particularly meaningful to me."

Place of Reflection visitor

"A beautiful, peaceful place for people experiencing grief and loss to spend some quiet time, remembering and healing."

Place of Reflection visitor