The University of New England (UNE) is seeking architects and designers with ideas on how to turn its boilerhouse space into a new venue for 21st century education and beyond.

The University is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in shaping what is intended to be the adaptive reuse of one of regional Australia's most innovative buildings.

UNE's boilerhouse was built in the 1950s as the University's own coal-fired power station, built over three stages (1959, 1963 and 1971). The building won a prestigious Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) award in 1974. The boilerhouse was decommissioned in 1999 and has remained unused for the past two decades.

UNE's Vice-Chancellor and CEO, professor Brigid Heywood, says the winning tenderer will be capable of creating an iconic destination.

"We will only ever have one decommissioned boilerhouse," says Heywood, "and we aim to create something new from it that will help define not just UNE, but the region. We have one shot at converting this structure into an educational space that will shape learning and memories for decades to come, and we are looking for exceptional partners to help us realise this vision."

The redevelopment of the Boilerhouse as an innovative destination is being made possible by a $6.1 million Regional Growth grant from the New South Wales Government and a multimillion dollar donation from the Abbott Foundation and other supporters.

Businesses that wish to submit an EOI can do so online at

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