Bentleigh Secondary College - M & ICC

Project Details

Nick Cini

Winner Category 5: Innovation

Vivian Street, East Bentleigh Melbourne , VIC 3165 Australia

Clare Flannery


Emma Cross

Project Overview

The Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre (M&ICC) at Bentleigh Secondary College was conceived to fill three primary roles: to educate students about sustainable design and construction; provide a space for the school’s mindfulness meditation program and to act as a focus for the school’s indigenous cultural curriculum. The design concept reflects the contrasting nature of our inner and outer self through materiality and form

Working in partnership with Bentleigh Secondary College and the local community, dwp|suters has delivered an exemplar of a sustainable, community focused, educational design. The Meditation & Indigenous Cultural Centre represents the school’s desire to create a sustainable campus and change the behaviours of students, staff and the wider community in best practice environmental management.

The entire building, internally and externally, provides locations for education to take place. Its flexible design responds to the College’s educational needs, providing a main program space, a small kitchenette, store room and a series of external covered decks and stairs for external activities.

To reflect the mindfulness meditation function of the pavilion the design creates a warm uniform space that has a calming effect on the children using the space for meditation. The design concept reflects the contrasting nature of our inner and outer self through materiality and form. Choosing materials that reflect these concepts is a key part of the success of the design that creates a calm, simple home for mindfulness meditation.

The project educates students about the importance of sustainable design. Constructed entirely of timber the centre incorporates passive heating and cooling design, carbon sequestration design, a wind turbine to provide power and a future geothermal exchange unit for heating and cooling.

Set in the school’s forest landscape, the building acts as a piece of furniture –something to be sat in, on and around – whist the students engage with the natural surrounds and the sustainable indigenous school curriculum.

The Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre is dwp|suters latest collaboration with the school. This project emerged from the spirit of earlier work together but it is unfunded. Over the past 5 years dwp|suters has worked in partnership with the college to design stages 1 and 2 of the school’s redevelopment.

This project is an example of what can be achieved when seamless collaboration for a common goal is the primary focus. The outcome, is an interactive educational environment, that transcends a facility just for teaching and learning. The seamless integration of space, materials, technology and physical form with the environment facilitates an interactive student experience where ultimately the facility becomes the educator. A fantastic example of when architecture and education truly work together.

This page last updated: Friday 4 April 2014