Tonsley Main Assembly Building and Pods by Woods Bagot and Tridente Architects
Sustainable Architecture: David Oppenheim Award
Australian Institute of Architects
Ten kilometres south of Adelaide’s CBD, Tonsley Main Assembly Building (MAB) and Pods demonstrates an exemplary commitment to sustainability outcomes and is the result of careful planning, an extensive consultative process and a dedicated client. Tonsley is the first Australian urban renewal project to be granted a six-star Green Star Communities certification award and its defining move – to retain its existing structure rather than demolish – is to be commended. The adaptation and re-use of the eight-hectare structure, formerly housing the Mitsubishi car manufacturing plant, acknowledge the importance of its cultural heritage, reimagined in a new urban context. They also equate to significant environmental savings normally associated with the costs of removal. Within the umbrella of the existing roof is a series of adaptable pods, meeting spaces and parks, with flexibility of use built into the design. The site’s story is ongoing and will be a work in progress for some time to come. Sustainability principles are at the core of the development, including clean technologies, sustainable energy, sensitive water design, passive ventilation and natural lighting. Interconnected paths for cycling and walking and access to public transport are also well considered. By acknowledging the social history of the site, while celebrating South Australia’s role in automotive manufacturing, MAB is a model for mixed-use developments and can act as a framework for other projects to recognize the opportunities that lie in industrial heritage.
Read the project review by Lindy Atkin from Architecture Australia Jul/Aug 2016.