Phillips/Pilkington Architects Pty Ltd was formed in Adelaide in 1992 by Susan Phillips and Michael Pilkington and has achieved a reputation for design excellence and innovation in more than four hundred projects undertaken over the past twenty two years.

Phillips/Pilkington Architects have a particular interest in developing and enhancing a sense of cultural identity within their projects which is evident within their tourism and community based work. The practice enjoys the dynamic of working with clients, artists, design professionals and communities to develop site responsive and culturally appropriate environments which develop a real ‘sense of place’.

The practice has a strong commitment to environmentally sustainable design which further reinforces a sense of place by responding to local climatic conditions. Educational, residential, tourism, public housing and community cultural facilities are a key focus of the practice with major Design Awards being received for over twenty-five projects. The Practice has been represented in the following exhibitions: 

• 40 UP National Young Australian Architects 1999
• Venice Biennale 2006
• Venice Biennale 2008

cultural context
a sense of place
accommodating people
the potential of materials
environmental responsibility
community enhancement

these are the things that inspire us in our work

Since 1992 our practice has pursued the design expression of an architecture suited to its location. Almost all of our projects are broadly located in a 'hot-arid' climate and we have sought to express these characteristics by designing low-energy, sheltering structures which require less energy to operate due to the incorporation of many passive design features such as active shading systems, reverse veneer wall systems, high thermal mass interiors and super-insulation. Over the last decade, these strategies have been developed and overlaid with a stronger consideration of materials selections and attention to more active energy systems such as solar space heating and PV power generation. Further active environmntal considerations have involved the source of products selections, resources used in the production and transportation (embodied energy), waste minimisation and materials recycling. In 2008 we designed a 5 star GreenStar 'Office' project; a New Research Building for the University of South Australia, at the Magill Campus. This project provided office accommodation for 80 social research academics, but was not built. The projects listed below illustrate our directions in the regard to the production of Environmentally Sustainable Design.


University of South Australia, New Learning Centre,
City West Campus, 2010 - 2013

  • 5 star Greenstar building
  • Hot solar water
  • Stormwater capture and reuse
  • Effective sunshade to all elevations
  • Maximum daylight penetration
  • Mixed mode air conditioning to ground floor




University of South Australia, New Research Building, 

Magill Campus, 2007 - 2008

  • 5 star GreenStar 'Office' rated, "as designed"
  • Shaded ventilated south/north day/light light/air system
  • Extensive sunshading verandah's and sun-control fins.





MADEC, Mildura, 2005 - 2007

  • Use of low embodied energy materials including
    rammed earth, recycled and plantation timbers
  • Underground water storage and re-ue in flushing toilets
  • Effective sun-shading to all elevations
  • Internal thermal mass to modular temperature
  • High-level exhaust of hot air
  • Winter solar entry directly onto thermal mass
  • Hybrid steel/timber framing system for floors and roof



McCormick Centre for the Environment, 2001 - 2002

This project in Renmark South Australia, incorporated the
following ESD features:

  • 5.4 KW power generation
  • Solar/Gas wet radiator space heating system
  • Large internal thermal mass
  • Collection and re-use of all rainwater
  • Passive solar design, shading etc.
  • Large-scale timber LVL structural framing system


Innes National Park Visitor Centre, 1996 - 1998

This project located in coastal Innes National Park tested
ESD principles involving the following considerations:

  • Simple 5o 'shed' roof form with simple roof overhang
    to provide shading
  • Suspended and slab-on-ground floor system
  • Timber cladding
  • Domestic evaporative cooling system in lieu of
    commercial refrigerated
  • Local stone walls
  • Landscape integration


Monarto Zoological Park Visitor Centre, 1995 - 1997

The building employed a number of environmental strategies
to minimise environmental impact, including:

  • Recycled timber for the structural framing, cladding,
    flooring and joinery
  • Development of a suspended floor above natural
    level to minimise impact to the site
  • Development of subsidence cooling towers, in
    association with architect Emilis Prelgauskas, as a low
    energy alternative to air conditioning
  • Collection of all rainwater to eliminate use of the River
    Murray mains supply
  • On site treatment of waste water
  • Promotion of natural ventilation through extensive use
    of glass louvres on both internal and external walls
  • Design of wet radiator solar heating system for future
  • Provision for future roof-mounted photo-voltaic power cells

This project won three Awards of Merit in the Royal Australian Institute of Architects' (SA Chapter) including Energy and Environment and is very popular as a conference and meeting venue.


McLaren Vale Visitor Centre, 1994 - 1996

The building employs the following strategies to minimise
environmental impact:

  • Low embodied energy materials including locally
    sourced rammed earth and stone
  • Plantation grown timber roof trusses and recycled timbers for
    main and structural framing and joinery
  • On-site treatment of waste water, recycled for irrigation
  • Orientation of building to maximise solar performance
  • Collection of rainwater
  • On site retention of stormwater


The facilities are extensively used for conferences and meetings. This project won a Civic Trust Award for Buildings in their setting and was displayed in the 40 UP Exhibition, an international touring exhibition featuring the work of 40 young Australian Architects.

Phillips/Pilkington Architects have worked for a wide range of Institutional, Commercial and Private clients including:

  • Barossa Council
  • City of Adelaide
  • City of Mitcham
  • City of Marion
  • City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters
  • City of Port Pirie
  • City of Port Augusta
  • City of Whyalla
  • Concordia College
  • Country Arts SA
  • Department for Education
  • District Council of Streaky Bay
  • DOCs - NSW
  • DPTI
  • Dominican School
  • Flinders University
  • Glynde Lutheran Church
  • Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners
  • Hewitson Winery
  • Hills Christian Community School
  • Housing SA
  • Light Regional Council
  • Loreto College
  • Mary MacKillop College
  • Mount Barker Waldorf School
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Our Lady of Grace School
  • Pedare Christian College
  • Pembroke School
  • Pilgrim School
  • Regional Council of Goyder
  • Remark Paringa Council
  • Renewal SA
  • Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • SA Community Housing Authority
  • SA Housing Trust
  • Seymour College
  • St Columba College
  • St David's Parish School
  • St Joseph's Hectorville School
  • St Jude's Parish
  • St Pius X School
  • Star of the Sea School
  • Stockland
  • St Peters Blackwood Lutheran School & Church
  • St Peters Collegiate Girls School
  • Suneden Specialist School
  • Tatiara District Council
  • Torrens University Australia
  • Tourism SA
  • Town of Gawler
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of South Australia
  • Wilderness School
  • Woodcroft College
  • Zoos SA

The quality and reliability of Phillips/Pilkington Architects services and products are seen as paramount to the success and growth of our business.  We are committed to demonstrating leadership and commitment with respect to our quality management system, with all objectives regularly reviewed and updated to ensure enhanced customer satisfaction.  Our Quality Management System has been designed to meet customer, statutory and regulatory requirements and is based on compliance with the Standard ISO9001:2016 and is independently audited and certified.

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