The Nan Tien Education and Cultural Centre is a tertiary facility and multicultural art gallery based 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” with communal spaces in between each. Each area is 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.