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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Elementary & Middle School
  4. Australia
  5. dwpIsuters
  6. 2013
  7. Bentleigh Secondary College Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre / dwpIsuters

Bentleigh Secondary College Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre / dwpIsuters

  • 01:00 - 11 September, 2013
Bentleigh Secondary College Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre / dwpIsuters
© Emma Cross
© Emma Cross
  • Architects

  • Location

    Bentleigh East, Victoria, Australia
  • Architect in Charge

    Nick Cini
  • Project Team

    John Schout, Shea O’Donoghue
  • Area

    109.0 sqm
  • Project Year


© Emma Cross © Emma Cross © Emma Cross © Emma Cross + 14

  • Consulting Structural Engineer

    Burns Hamilton and Partners
  • Certifying Structural Engineer

  • Services Engineer

    Cortese Consultants
  • Building Surveyor

    Group 4
  • Builder

    Dzine Construction Group
Bentleigh Secondary College Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre / dwpIsuters, © Emma Cross
© Emma Cross

Text description provided by the architects. The Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre (M&ICC) at Bentleigh Secondary College was conceived to educate the students about the importance of sustainable design. Set in the schools Moorooboon wetland and 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 a curriculum focused on the environment, indigenous culture and mindfulness meditation.

© Emma Cross
© Emma Cross

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.

© Emma Cross
© Emma Cross

The design concept is to reflect the contrasting nature of our inner and outer self through materiality and form. The choice of materials to reflect these concepts was a key part of the success of the design and showcases the flexibility of both plywood and hardwood cladding.

© Emma Cross
© Emma Cross

The use of plywood with its light golden appearance against the external timber creates a striking distinction between the internal golden, glossy appearance of the plywood with the soft textural grey of the external silvertop ash cladding designed to eventually silver over time. In essence the inside of the building will maintain its ‘youthful’ appearance whilst the external will develop and mature with age. To respond to the multitude of programmatic requirements dwp|suters designed a building with an elemental plan with a single primary space that is flexible, can be reprogrammed as necessary and includes smaller service spaces grouped to the side.

© Emma Cross
© Emma Cross

The M&ICC is dwp|suters latest collaboration with the school. This project emerged from the spirit of earlier work tog¬ether 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. What started as a suburban schools ambition has turned into a worldwide exemplar of sustainable education that reflects the needs and aspirations of its community.

Site Plan
Site Plan

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: "Bentleigh Secondary College Meditation and Indigenous Cultural Centre / dwpIsuters" 11 Sep 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884