Mount Alvernia College by m3architecture

July 6, 2016

Imaginatively interpreting the school’s Franciscan history, m3architecture has designed Mount Alvernia College’s vibrant new La Verna Building, Anthony Building and La Foresta Garden.

All photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

m3architecture has designed Mount Alvernia College’s new La Verna Building, Anthony Building and La Foresta Garden.


After being commissioned to complete the College’s master plan in 2011, the firm proposed a school based around three gardens; a community garden, a garden for gathering and a recreation garden.


The design reflects the school’s Franciscan history, St Francis’ love of the natural world and the importance of the relationship between humankind and nature. The substantial productive garden forms the front entrance to the school, flanked by administration, lunch area, cafeteria and home economics. It is a place of learning, nourishment, productivity and beauty.


The main social space sits adjacent to the cafeteria, ‘La Cucina’, and releases north into the garden. Conceived as an oversized floating picnic rug, it is broken up with a multitude of columns that create spaces within the whole.


In total, the project includes 20 classrooms, six laboratories, three home economics spaces, commercial kitchen and cafeteria, administration, a prayer space, a roof terrace, and the community garden.


The buildings themselves structure the garden, resulting in a sympathetic relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Leave a Reply

Keep up-to-date with our bi-weekly newsletter

You’ll get

  • News, insights and features from the interior design and architecture community
  • Coverage on the latest projects, products and people
  • Events and job updates

Join now!

Sign up to the newsletter