- Physical Model: Gabriella Muto
- Structure Engineer Civil Engineer: Perrett Simpson Stanton
- Building Surveyor: BSA Building Surveyors
- Project Architect: Nic Lymn
- Architectural & Interior Team: Konrad Schaller, Wuff Keeble, Sherman Tan, Gabriella Muto
- Design Director: Steven Cortese
- Architectural Team: Konrad Schaller, Wuff Keeble, Sherman Tan, Gabriella Muto
- Interior Team: Konrad Schaller, Wuff Keeble, Sherman Tan, Gabriella Muto
- City: Yarra Glen
- Country: Australia
Text description provided by the architects. Located on the Tarrawarra Abbey site, the conceptual design for the building was developed in response to recent grass fires which passed dangerously close to the site in 2009.
Utilising the inherent protective qualities and thermal mass of insitu concrete external walls, the design compliments the existing timber buildings on the site and provides a more robust sanctuary. Designed as a fire shelter, the contemporary design cuts into the gentle slope of the site and is topped with a planted green roof.
The green roof adds to both the fire resistance and thermal performance of the building shell. Other ESD initiatives include natural ventilation and roof water storage tanks for irrigation & landscape purposes. Double glazed windows are protected by distinctive copper shrouds and protective screens where required to comply with BAL requirements.
Responding to increasing local and international research into the benefits of incorporating organic elements within building design, the extensive green roof system contributes to building insulation and energy efficiency, biodiversity and wildlife value, water management and fire prevention.
At selected locations within the banded finish to the external concrete walls, rebated patterns reflect the Cistercian Monk’s of Tarrawarra Abbey motif. The interiors respond to the uniquely rural setting, using natural materials including polished concrete floors and spotted gum timber linings.
While enhancing the overall aesthetic and requiring minimal maintenance, the green roof comprises a series of layers above the concrete roof deck, including waterproofing membrane, root protection layer, drainage layer, filter layer, growing media, irrigation, ballast and selected grasses & plants.
Catering for both recreational activities and workshop duties, the building is a contemporary facility which will complement the monk’s lifestyle of simplicity and order in this uniquely Australian setting.