Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC)

Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC)

Architectus, in association with MPH Architects – Lead Principal Consultant, has created an iconic education destination and new identity for South Australian TAFE. SIEC integrates sustainable architecture and educational pedagogy to achieve cohesive learning, teaching and social spaces and public interfaces. An amalgamation and centralisation of three separate, tradetraining campuses into one consolidated facility located at Tonsley Park, SIEC occupies approximately one-third of the former Mitsubishi manufacturing plant.

Larger than the Adelaide Oval, with a footprint that exceeds 100,000 m2, the former industrial building was characterised by high, south-lit spaces, formed by a transverse truss and sawtooth roof truss system, all fabricated from small steel sections and supported on a regular 80 x 40 ft (24 x 12 m) steel column grid. As a primary design principle, the structure was retained, where possible. Individual ‘trade’ departments and autonomous areas are defined as new ‘containers’ within the pre-existing structural grid, so that both the new insertions and steel skeletal frame are visible – each enhanced and strengthened by contrast with the other. Transparency at the ground plane is maximized, with visual connection into teaching spaces and workshops, to engage public interaction.

The SIEC project is greater than a simple, adaptive re-use. The impressive scale of planning – more akin to the planning of a city block – is complemented by a progressive educational plan that transforms the mega industrial shed into creative opportunities for teaching, learning and innovation. Comfortable and habitable spaces accommodate increased interface with industry, flexibility and adaptability for future change. Providing an exemplary educational facility, the project delivers a sustainable built outcome with efficiencies in operational and recurrent costs.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

Tonsley Park, SA
Floor area
32 500 m²
Original value
Matt Spinaze


  • International Higher Education WAF 2014 (shortlisted finalist)
  • AIA National Sustainability Award 2014 (shortlisted finalist)
  • CEFPI National Award 2014
  • AIA SA Chapter State Interior Award 2014

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