Australian Technical College / Birrelli Architects


Architects: Birrelli Architects
Location: Launceston, Tasmania,
Project Architects: Jack Birrell and Todd Henderson
Project Team: Phil Dingemanse, Gary Fleming
Collaborators: McBride Charles Ryan
Structural Engineer: Engineering Edge
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers: Engineering Solutions
Building Contractor: Matthews Constructions
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Rob Burnett

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The ATCNT is a portal-framed, elongated, utilitarian building referencing the traditional industrial forms of the Inveresk Railyard structures. It combines a simple structural system, clearly expressed portal frames, with an economy of means and an honest expression: bold, daring, and an inspiring palette of materials and colours.

Importantly, the architecture does not suffer from nostalgia or mimicry, rather it is an evolutionary development of the unique genre of heritage buildings at Inveresk.


An opalescent prismatic truss extrudes and folds over each end-elevation, a slightly inclined art-glass reflection wall to the north amplifies the presence of mature poplar trees, and running along the southern side an abstract train-form pulls up to a contemporary 21C educational train/trade station.

The form while abstract and clean-lined resolves as a hi-tech crafted aesthetic. The exterior without eaves gutters or elaborately clad façades and with raw interiors, the college pays homage inside and out to the massive industrial forms of the Railyards.


From conception to built-form the design and educational ideas coalesce to create a signature iconic educational architecture for the Australian Technical College, at Inveresk Railyards.

The design of the college’s learning commons, the forum steps, and support spaces are founded upon the concepts of life long learning, student-centred teaching and learning, trade teaching utilizing real-industry-application, and the interconnectedness of knowledge and the human condition of communication.

Cite: "Australian Technical College / Birrelli Architects" 18 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • oscar falcón lara

    There is a very intense workshop feel to this that seems to fit perfectly with its function. I specially like the interior finished and the exterior overall shape. Nice project.