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Yirrkala Healing Centre

Completed 2209- ongoing
Budget $1,000,000


Senior Designer
Detailing + Documentation
Services Coordination
Work completed whist at Indyk Architects

Team + Credits

Team: Shelley Indyk
Cultural advisor: Jennifer Isaacs
Structural: Irwin consulting

On the edge of Yirrkala, a township in Ahnem Land , NT, sits a lagoon. To one side, a sacred mens site, to the other, a sacred womens site, and between a large Banyan Tree. The local community requested a “healing Centre” as somewhere to practice local medicine, and invite travelling practitioners. The centre contained 3 sets of building clusters; the Healing Centre, an accommodation building for visiting practitioners, and within proximity of the mens sacred site, emergency accommodation for troubled young men.

The buildings needed to be robust, simple and strong, while it was imperative that the layout respected the ancient beliefs of the local indigenous communities. Among other subtle design methods, mens and womens spaces were separated from each other, by wrapping the building around the dense Banyan tree.