Inside Festival: Tony Materne of MPH Architects explains how the Australian firm created a huge construction training facility "within the existing envelope" of a former Adelaide car plant (+ movie).
The Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC), which won the Sustainable Re-use category at Inside Festival this year, is a 45,0000 square-metre campus, which provides training for various trades in the construction industry.
The centre occupies part of an abandoned car manufacturing plant in Adelaide, Australia, which was built by Chrysler in 1964 and later operated by Mitsubishi, before being abandoned in 2008 due to the financial crash.
"The state government realised the potential for the site and decided to rejuvenate the area as a hub for commerce, education and innovation," explains MPH Architects partner Tony Materne in the movie.
MPH Architects kept the existing shell of the plant intact and built the new campus inside it.
"The existing structure is quite magnificent, and so we wanted to take the opportunity to really celebrate adaptive reuse," Materne says. "So the approach we took was to create a campus with buildings within the existing envelope."
The firm used glass extensively throughout the complex to ensure visibility between the different workspaces and other areas.
"Transparency was absolutely key to the success of this project," says Materne, "both to showcase the activities within to the general public and to create very strong connectivity between staff and students."
For the majority of the year, the facility is not air-conditioned, relying on natural ventilation to cool it down.
"The perimeter facade has operable louvres and in the central lanes there are ventilation shafts," explains Materne. "So we created this air movement through the whole of the facility for most of the year."
Bold, brightly-coloured signage was introduced to help students and visitors navigate the complex.
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"Because of the sheer size of the facility, we needed to introduce a very strong way-finding strategy," says Materne.
The project was completed last year and the architect claims that it has been a huge success with staff and students alike.
"It's fabulous to see how staff and students have really embraced the new facility," he says. "It has taken the lecturing staff on a new journey of delivery of their curriculum and it has been really well embraced by all."
Inside Festival took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 1 to 3 October. Award entries for next year's festival are open from February 2015.
We've been publishing interviews with all the category winners from this year's event over the last few weeks. You can watch all the movies below.