SIEC / MPH Architects

SIEC / MPH Architects - Windows, FacadeSIEC / MPH Architects - Chair, TableSIEC / MPH Architects - Image 4 of 22SIEC / MPH Architects - ChairSIEC / MPH Architects - More Images+ 17

  • Architect In Charge: Tony Materne
  • Project Leader: Peter Hoare
  • Design Team: Thomas Hansen, Vicki Jacobs, Carlo Pennino, Tonia Mudie, Sally Bostock, Matt Spinaze, Daniel Pike, James Jones, Maureen Fry, Diana Thompson
  • Base Building Documentation Support: Architectus
  • Education Consultants: Rubida
  • Risk Manager: DPTI
  • Structural And Civil Engineering: GHD
  • Building Surveyor: Davis Langdon
  • Building Certifier: Katnich Dodd
  • Manufacturers/Suppliers: Woodform Architectural
  • Client: Employment
  • Cost: $110 000 000
  • City: Clovelly Park
  • Country: Australia
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SIEC / MPH Architects - Windows, Facade
© David Sievers


The Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC) Tonsley Tafe project was initiated by the Government of South Australia’s objective to reduce operating costs of the TafeSA’s Building and Construction Trade Training programs through the consolidation of five aging campuses into a single contemporary facility within the former Mitsubishi Main Assembly Building (MAB) at Tonsley Park, Adelaide.

SIEC / MPH Architects - Image 18 of 22

The new facility is an excellent example of adaptive re-use on a major scale. 90% of the existing steel structure has been retained and a new flexible and adaptable education facility created that provides opportunities for innovation and display of the Tafe student activities.

The quality of the facility has provided the platform for the forging of strong links with industry and community. The resulting internal layout successfully provides a variety of spaces for student centred learning and the effective use of glazed partitioning throughout has maximized the showcasing of Tafe activities to the public, and provided visual and physical connections to the existing steel structure as well as ensuring daylighting opportunities are realized in all settings.

SIEC / MPH Architects - Image 4 of 22
© David Sievers

The strong expression of the existing steel work, exposed services and minimal internal applied finishes supports the buildings role as a demonstrator learning tool for the students and the wider community.

SIEC / MPH Architects - Stairs, Beam
© David Sievers

 Project Objectives

Key project objectives include:

-          Improved operational and recurrent cost efficiencies
-          Provide a flexible and adaptable facility
-          Improve engagement with industry and community
-          Provide opportunities for innovation and showcasing activities
-          Provide inclusive, personalised and student centred learning with visual and physical links between the spaces allowing the students and lecturers to move seamlessly and safely throughout
-          Built form to support cross trade based learning and assimilated construction site projects
-          Provide a sustainable built outcome
-          Maximise adaptive re-use of existing structure
-          An exemplar sustainable facility

SIEC / MPH Architects - Image 14 of 22
Floor Plan

Space Planning

28,000 sqm of the existing MAB envelope was allocated to Tafe comprising of basement and concrete ground floor with three truss clearance levels i.e. 6m, 10.5m & 15m. The space planning approach is more akin to the planning of a city block i.e. buildings within the MAB building, to provide legibility of way finding and define pedestrian and vehicle movement. The nominal 24x12m grid and south facing saw tooth roof with sky lights set the proportion and location of the internal buildings, allowing harmonious integration of old with new.

Main planning elements include:

-          Primary internal ‘street’ with central stair and defined public entries at each end provides legible connectivity with the remainder of the MAB development
-          Secondary ‘Lane’ that intersects with the ‘Street’ defines the main access to teaching and learning spaces, administration and workshops
-          Underpinning knowledge areas opening off the ‘lane’ adjacent to trade workshops
-          Staff offices and meeting rooms above underpinning knowledge have views over the workshops
-          Trade workshops located around the perimeter of the underpinning knowledge are connected to achieve maximum flexibility and allow for future change. The workshop circulation grid is defined by the green service nodes at intersections
-          Bulk storage to the west of the workshops extends the full width of the building and enables safe handling and distribution of heavy materials into workshops
-          Vertical outdoor, plumbing and electrical teaching ‘building services installation’ is showcased to the main ‘street’

SIEC / MPH Architects - Image 21 of 22


Built Form

The main facade treatment comprises a ‘floating black ribbon’ of metal cladding and fins to boldly define Tafe within the MAB building. At ground level a continuous glazed façade provides natural daylight and showcases workshop activities to the community.

SIEC / MPH Architects - Table, Chair
© David Sievers

The glazing treatment is also continued internally to teaching, learning, office and support spaces for transparency and visual connections to enhance the learning experience.

Timber screen facades with their warmth of colour clearly define the new buildings ‘inserted’ within the facility and contrast with the industrial material palette of the base facility.

SIEC / MPH Architects - Beam
© David Sievers

The original steel structure including paint finish is retained, contrasting with the inorganic zinc silicate finish that highlights the new steelwork required for structural stiffening and new building elements. This supports the demonstrator objective of this facility.

Internal and applied finishes have been minimised. The raw industrial character is further enhanced through the expression of services and structural elements. Colour is limited to way finding and service and safety nodes, enhancing circulation legibility.


SIEC / MPH Architects - Chair, Table
© David Sievers


Key sustainability initiatives are as follows:

Indoor Environment

-          Low VOC paints, sealants and adhesives, carpets, flooring, and tenancy fit out items
-          All engineered wood products contain low or no formaldehyde


SIEC / MPH Architects - Table, Chair
© David Sievers


-          Stairs evenly distributed and located near the building entrance and lifts, are open to natural daylight, encouraging use
-          Streets and Lanes separate the buildings, voids break up large floor plates, and translucent roof sheeting over ensures natural daylight penetration into lower levels
-          Secure bicycle parks, lockers and showers
-          Site’s proximity to public transport systems encourages the use of public transport

SIEC / MPH Architects - Beam, Steel, Windows
© David Sievers

Material Reduction Strategies

-          Materials with recycled content are used wherever possible
-          750,000 litre rainwater tanks in basement and syphonic drainage system
-          Minimal ceilings
-          90% re-use of existing steel structure
-          Minimisation of applied finishes
-          Exposed Services
-          Flooring material, joinery and loose furniture complies with the Green Star sustainability guidelines
-          Modular fit out elements to enable future flexibility and waste reduction


-          Spatial allocation for recycling waste storage and collection strategies
-          Waste management plan prepared and reciprocal agreement made with recycling company

SIEC / MPH Architects - Image 13 of 22
Site Plan


-          Project site is not located near a wetland or old growth forest and is not a green field site
-          Landscaping within street increase ecological value of site

SIEC / MPH Architects - Chair
© David Sievers


-          Consolidation of multiple disciplines into one site created shared spaces and reduced the facilities emissions and waste
-          Tafe timetable extended to accommodate more classes and reduce the need for additional campuses
-          Building and the Revit model to be used as 3D teaching tool
-          Building systems negate the need to install specific demonstration plant & equipment

Project gallery

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Project location

Address:TAFE SA Tonsley Campus, 1284 South Road, Clovelly Park SA 5042, Australia

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "SIEC / MPH Architects" 19 Jun 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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