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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.

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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.


Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Association




Wollongong, Australia

Completion Date



6,000 square meters

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 embodies a collegiate atmosphere welcoming to all and has a strong connection to its environment.

The center’s ethos encourages ongoing engagement with health and well-being. To support this message, the architects incorporated fresh air natural light, access to clean water and minimization, and reduced energy use.