The Guardian recently quoted Paul Stoller, Director of Atelier Ten Sydney, on the environmental design of Tonsley Park in Adelaide, Australia. The article, “Preserving Historical Buildings: The Most Sustainable Thing Is Not to Build New Stuff,” delves into the burgeoning trend across Australia of reimagining historical buildings for the use of surrounding communities and the significance of sustainability in these efforts.
The renovation of Tonsley Park entailed the conversion of a car factory into an innovation district. Former car factory buildings were transformed into a new neighborhood center for business, academic, and residential needs. The old factory roof and walls were re-clad with a mix of glazing and insulated roof panels, creating a multi-hectare indoor-outdoor microclimate, within which individual businesses set up shop in pod buildings. The microclimate provides a level of passive conditioning to the pods and the extensive public realm. The project provided Atelier Ten with the rare opportunity to participate in the design of a classic environmental diagram in which a large tempering shed protects smaller buildings within.
Atelier Ten is proud to have participated in the design of Tonsley Park, a project that truly exemplifies the possibility of a more sustainable future that can be created with the built legacy of past generations. As Paul states, “Old buildings, when properly renovated or restored, can use less energy than flash new buildings (even those badged as sustainable) that set up problems for themselves by over-glazing, or by creating deep floor plates requiring ventilation fans and lights on all day.”
The main assembly building at Tonsley Park has been nominated for two Australian Institute of Architecture National Architecture Awards this year: the Heritage Award and the Sustainable Architecture Award.
Read more at theguardian.com.