The Sisters of St. Benedict hired a team led by entheos Architects to consider the removal of their aging multipurpose building and focus their future planning on the Benedict Inn for the continued development of their retreats and programming efforts.
Mader Design led the effort to master plan the site, with a focus on maximizing visibility, increasing accessibility, and providing a welcoming atmosphere to their visitors and guests as they enter the site and facilities. Utilizing the Benedictine Cross as a theme for the design work, the religious symbol was integrated into the new building signage as well as into a paving pattern that serves as a drop off area and entry plaza for the retreat center.
Sustainability was important to the Sisters, and every effort was made to incorporate sustainable design features. There are many ‘green’ design elements within the site including a planting palette focused on native plants, permeable pavers in the entry plaza, re-use of existing stone benches, recycling pavement and concrete as fill material under the parking lot, and utilizing bio-retention basins to filter stormwater.
We also master planned and designed the 2 acre Peace Garden, working with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, to create a contemplative outdoor space in support of the Retreat Center and as a space for the surrounding neighbors. Planted in native prairie plugs with natural gravel paths, sculptures were incorporated with seating areas to provide additional spaces to explore and reconnect with nature.