Campus Development & Design

A regional landmark drawing national & international visitors

Nan Tien Institute has completed the construction of Stage One of its new Tertiary Campus and Art Gallery. This state-of-the-art development is a setting for community interaction, education and cultural exchange, and provide 300 students comprehensive facilities to support their studies.

NTI's vision is to expand this facility further in the future to become a University that caters for 3000 students, and offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate educational programs in Humantities, Economic and Business Studies, Social Sciences, Religious Studies and Asian Studies.

The overall design of the campus and its environment is underpinned by the Buddhist philosophy to:

  • Establish a higher learning institution that nurtures the wellbeing of the students' holistic learning throughout their studies and beyond.
  • Provide an environment of harmony, tranquillity and serenity to optimise learning outcomes.
  • Provide quality education based on international standards and traditions.
  • Foster understanding and respect amongst cultures and religions.

The campus aims to:

  • Provide a conducive environment for learning in the 21st century and beyond
  • Create a setting for community interaction, education and cultural exchange.

New campus facilities

The facilities include:

  • administration Centre
  • faculty and academic offices
  • teaching and lecture rooms
  • student services offices
  • dining area
  • library
  • extensive on-site parking.

In addition to the tertiary facilities there will is a multicultural Arts Centre and Gallery which will be a learning hub for the campus. It will be a gallery home to artefacts, artworks and international exhibitions, and complement the cultural diversity of the local community by including selected works from local artists.

The tertiary facility and Arts Centre and Gallery will be a recognised regional landmark and will draw many visitors from around the country and the world, enhancing multiculturalism and harmony in this culturally diverse region.

NTI Building Design

Architecture and Design awards, shortlists and acheivements:

  • World Architectural Festival (WAF) 2015
    Completed Buildings, Higher Education and Research – Shortlisted
  • Royal Australian Institute of Architects 2015
    Educational Architecture, Shortlisted
  • IDEA Awards 2015
    Public Space, Shortlisted
  • WAN Concrete in Architecture Award 2015

Design statement by Woods Bagot

The design of the Nan Tien Institute reflects the Buddhist ideals of Nan Tien, incorporating an architectural language in keeping with the Humanistic Buddhist teachings of Fo Guang Shan into a contemporary learning environment. As a result, the building is strongly connected to the environment, provides spaces conducive to quiet reflection, avoids hierarchy and values the ‘spaces in between’, and provides a neutral environment devoid of excess and materialism.

Global architecture firm Woods Bagot began with the metaphor of the lotus flower – a pristine, beautiful bloom that arises from the mud – as the starting point for the design of the building. The lotus flower was chosen to reflect the origins of the site, a former garbage tip adjacent to the Nan Tien Temple, bought by the institute from the local council for one Australian dollar.

The structure of the building was formed by grouping spaces into four distinct pods, creating a ‘public’ space in between. The pods are linked by active bridges, allowing for the movement through the building to be a journey comprised of moments, destinations and thresholds. Curved walls and window openings have created a distinctive look for the building, with precast concrete used to create the signature form of the building.

The sculptural forms of the pods were made by pouring concrete into custom-made steel and timber molds to form unique shapes, with the imprinted texture of the timber boards visible in the detail of the final pod facades. Terracotta tiles and screens were used on the North-East and West facades, linking back to the roof at the Nan Tien Temple and Pagoda. The undulating wave pattern of the screens create a sense of movement while providing environmental shading.

The design of the building reflects the Nan Tien Institute’s aims to foster a holistic education. The first campus building will cater for 300 students and is designed to provide an environment conducive to teaching and learning in the 21st century by creating a setting for community interaction, education and cultural exchange.

Project summary Project: Nan Tien Institute Location: Berkeley, New South Wales Client: Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Association Area: 6000m2 Completion Date: September 2014 Budget: $50 million Project Team: Georgia Singleton, John Prentice, Kenn Fisher, Alan J Duffy, Chang Liu, Danny Chan, Kate Gillies

Collaborators: Builder: Richard Crookes Landscape architects: 360 Degrees Services: Medland Metropolis Structural Engineering: Brown Consulting Project Managers: APP Civil Engineering: Cardno Site remediation: Douglas and Partners

NTI Building Construction