Endorsed by

Construction begins on Bendigo mosque and cultural centre

Construction has begun on an Islamic community centre in the Victorian city of Bendigo, which will include the region’s first mosque.

The project also includes a multipurpose centre capable of hosting sporting and cultural events. The Victorian government has made a contribution to this part of the project, with a $400,000 grant from its Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund.

Designs for the centre, by GKA Architects, were revealed in 2016. The mosque is planned around a central courtyard – a reference to the design of traditional Syrian mosques. The courtyard will be covered, allowing for its use in all weather conditions.

“A lot of the clients come from Syria so we wanted to make sure we responded to their traditional built forms, yet not literally,” architect Asher Greenwood told ArchitectureAU in 2016.

The design also references architecture in Bendigo. Rather than the typical domed roof, the mosque will havea “curved pyramid” roof design inspired by the roof of the Bendigo Law Courts, designed by Public Works Department architect G. W. Watson and constructed in 1892-96. Greenwood said a bonus of this decision was that the shape of roof would be “easy to waterproof. A lot of the mosques in Melbourne leak like a sieve because they’re domes and the builders here aren’t too good at building domes.”

Although the centre was approved by the local council in 2014, the project has run up against sometimes violent opposition. Opponents of the mosque appealed the council decision to approve the building but the appeal was rejected by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Victoria. In June 2016, the High Court of Australia rejected the appeal based on “insufficient prospect of success.”

The City of Greater Bendigo received the 2016 Planning Institute of Australia Victorian President’s Award for its handling of what it called “the mosque crisis.”

Maree Edwards, member for Bendigo West, said “Bendigo is proudly multicultural – our great city would not be what it is today without the contribution of so many different cultures. Today’s milestone is a significant moment for the ongoing development of Bendigo.”

Related topics

More news

See all
Waverley Woollen Mills, Australia’s oldest working textile mill. Open House Launceston to offer up a ‘feast for the senses’

Some 34 building will be on show at Open House Launceston, happening on Saturday 7 September as part of the Junction Arts Festival.

The refurbished Sydney Opera House concert hall. Contracts awarded for Sydney Opera House concert hall renewal

The Sydney Opera House has announced that it has awarded two contracts for the renewal of the iconic building’s concert hall – part of the …

Marrickville Library and Pavilion by BVN. BVN completes new Marrickville Library and Pavilion

BVN has completed a new library and community hub in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville that features a soaring interior and a folding roof canopy.

Science Gallery Melbourne by Smart Design Studio. Smart Design Studio unveils science gallery design shaped by ‘hidden forces of nature’

Smart Design Studio has unveiled initial designs for the interior of a proposed museum dedicated to the sciences in Melbourne.

Most read

Latest on site