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EIW Architect’s boarding house for Clontarf Aboriginal College is the perfect balance
of educational facilities, cultural engagement and modern design philosophies.
n the Banks of the Canning River
in Perth’s south, Clontarf Aboriginal
College is redefining the nature of
student boarding facilities.
Wanting to lessen the institutional experience
of the students who board at the college, the client
wanted Ngulla Mia to have a “home away from
home” feel that focuses on a sense of community,
as well as education. Meaning “my house” in
Noongar, the facility sensitively supports the
cultural context of the students.
To avoid the traditional boarding school feel,
EIW incorporated natural lighting with soft
furnishings and decor which, through the design
and palette choice, reflect both the college’s
riverside location and the remote and rural
environment that many of the students call home.
Rammed earth walls, timber panelling and a mix
of neutral and strong colours evoke the richness of
the country from the South West to the Pilbara.
The entire building was constructed around
the principals of relationships and study, reflected
in the amalgamation of study nooks integrated
with communal areas.
With an understanding of the cultural
significance of socialisation and interpersonal
relationships, the residential facility, which houses
up to 120 students, has been designed and built
to accommodate and encourage interaction and
foster a strong sense of community.
Rather than isolating students in single rooms,
each dormitory is designed to house two students,
with sliding doors to encourage mingling.
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