Mayumarri Retreat

Mayumarri is a retreat complex in the Hunter Valley. It is now run by the Heal For Life Foundation and provides healing programmes for survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. We designed the first building on the site, a large communal space with commercial kitchen facilities and a separate chapel, the two joined by a covered outdoor space. The building is situated part way down the sloping site and looks out over a large dam to the mountain range beyond. All walls, internal and external, are made from rammed earth, the earth taken directly from the site. The thermal mass of the rammed earth helps to maintain a comfortable indoor air temperature in this hot dry climate. A corrugated steel roof is supported on exposed timber framing, including some posts retaining their natural profile cut from trees on the site. Construction of the main building was completed in 2000. Numerous other buildings have since been constructed by the retreat and are scattered around the site. For details of the Heal For Life Foundation please go to their website: