Flinders University Tonsley raises its game

Flinders University is enjoying the benefits of its biggest investment to date. The uni’s new flagship building in South Australia is now open, and it looks fantastic.

The Tonsley redevelopment is set 2.5km city-wards from the main Flinders campus in Bedford Park. Inside, Flinders’ new building is a $120 million teaching and research facility. It rises six stories high and offers 16,000 square metres of space. Housing 150 staff and 2000 students across several disciplines, it incorporates two lecture theatres, several laboratories, computer rooms, collaborative areas, and especially relevant, a number of cafés and coffee counters.


Sitting on a former Mitsubishi manufacturing plant, the new building deliberately incorporates much of Mitsubishi’s old structure into the design. Partly this is simple practicality: the existing steel overhead framing works brilliantly as an extended atrium. However, by placing its new centre for learning on top of a well-known manufacturing site, Flinders is also fostering its reputation for strong industry associations.

The building was designed by Hassell architects, and aims to promote interaction and exchange between its occupants. Wide sweeping stairways connect the various disciplines within the structure, and there are several large communal areas and shared spaces. Plenty of glass, both internally and externally, allows natural light and air to flow through into each room. The overall result is as open and collaborative as one would hope for at any educational facility.

From the Flinders University Tonsley website:

Flinders at Tonsley is a place where our students interact with business, where business interacts with our researchers in areas such as engineering, medical devices and nanoscale technologies, to create the new products and processes of the 21st century.

Tonsley centrally locates the University’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, with the Medical Device Research Institute and Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology, alongside some of Adelaide’s biggest businesses and industries.

For this project, EDGE has supplied internal balustrades as well external ventilation louvres, in conjunction with South Australian fabricator Aluco.

View the project gallery here.