Watch full video

Nan Tien Education and Cultural Centre

Buddhist Education Centre Takes Cues from Religion's Teachings

The Nan Tien Education and Cultural Centre is a tertiary facility and multicultural art gallery in Wollongong, Australia. Situated opposite of the Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, the new building sits on the former site of a landfill bought by the Nan Tien Institute from the council for one Australian dollar.

Using the Buddhist symbol of the lotus flower as design inspiration, the edifice is comprised of four distinct “pods” that are linked by bridges, allowing for movement throughout the interiors. Keeping in line with the humanistic teachings of Fo Guang Shan, a new Buddhist movement based out of Taiwan, the architecture avoids hierarchy, utilizes a neutral palette, and is void of materialism. 



Building as campus

The Concept for the building is that it is to be a gateway to the institute comprised of linked ‘pods’ that perform as a mini campus that embodys a collegiate atmosphere welcoming to all and has a strong connection to its environment.

  • Celebrates the journey towards enlightenment
  • Providing an environment that is the focus on health and well-being
  • Enables the sharing of knowledge and wisdom through everyday interaction
  • Provides significant connectivity to the culture of temple while maintaining a presence and an attraction of its own
  • Celebrates life with the connection to nature and an appreciation for the environment
  • The lotus flower was a used as a metaphor for the design of the building in the sense of it being cultivated on a former tip site.

Engagement with health and well-being and nowness

Encourage ongoing engagement with health and well-being:

––Remediation of the site (‘Pureland’), Minimise Impact
––Support the education of Humanistic Buddhism
––Provide a place to gather and be around others for support, enjoyment, communication, sharing of knowledge.
––Have civic presence to allow for congregations of communities through supporting display and participation with cultural activities.
––ESD initiatives that support wellbeing (fresh air natural light, access to clean water and minimization, reduce energy use.

Be of the now.

––Promote advancements in Humanistic Buddhism rather than replicating the past.
––Celebrate the moments of the everyday and daily living.
––Embrace advances in technology and innovation.



Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Association


Wollongong, Australia


6,000 sq m



Completion Date


wechat qr code