The Montagne Centre is the first building at Marist College Bendigo, a new College designed to become a learning community for 1500 students. Marist provides an alternative approach to learning with student skill development as its focus. The building provides a range of learning spaces, which are flexible and reflect an adult working environment rather than a student learning space.
To create the Middle Years Facility an existing dam was excavated to create a wetlands which will become a feature for the site and critical to the school’s water treatment and drainage strategy. The new building is located adjacent the wetlands and was constructed partially on concrete slab on ground and partially suspended on concrete piles with precast and concrete slab planks.
The Montagne Centre was designed to have strong connections to the surrounding natural wetlands. It was constructed of rammed earth and timber, with piers out over the wetlands to bring teaching out into the environment.
The facility consists of 2 large pavilions with a central gallery. Exposed timber roof trusses were used to create the required open plan classrooms. Exposed bolted truss connections were used to express the structural detailing of the building.
The building is thermally efficient and provides many flexible open spaces, with movable partitions. The principal of Marist College has noted that the students who work within the building have been noticeably calmer which is attributed to the connection to nature that the building has through location and the use of timber and other natural materials.
Images courtesy of Y2Architecture