Zen Architects were engaged in the architect-led design of a new, state-of-the-art EcoCentre – a community centre, designed to promote sustainable building and gardening practices – located within the St Kilda Botanical Gardens.
The design acknowledges the traditional owners of the land, the heritage nature of the site, the existing streetscape and the local community and culture. It provides a contemporary, innovative facility with high-level amenity and the flexibility to meet future demand.
The building is set back from the corner of the site to provide a north facing productive garden that connects with the street and an outdoor gathering space around a Willow Myrtle tree. Internal spaces are accommodated under a soaring louvred roof and arranged around a north facing wintergarden with seasonal open-ability that works to warm and cool the other parts of the building.
The end result is a design that showcases innovative passive solar design, natural ventilation, energy and water conservation, eco-friendly materials and technologies, and promotes public awareness of sustainable building and garden design practices.