Located in Australia’s National Botanic Gardens in Canberra, the new Ian Potter National Conservatory will be a showcase for tropical Australian native flora and expand the Gardens’ capability to conserve and display the world’s most comprehensive collection of living Australian native plants.
Steensen Varming has been shortlisted in the competition with Danish based C.F. Møller and Australian-Danish practice TERROIR, exhibition designer Thylacine, and landscape architect Aspect Studios. We will be working on the second stage with the team from our studios in Copenhagen and Sydney, using our specialist experience with sensitive environments and plant research from past projects such a Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, the UWS Eucalyptus woodland free-air CO2 enrichment facility and the National Gallery of Australia.
The conservatory will be a new key attraction of the Gardens, appealing to a wider audience including international visitors and locals, younger audiences and academics and researchers through targeted events and programmes. The project is one of the major recommendations from the 2015 Gardens Master Plan and construction is planned to commence in early 2017 with the official opening in early 2018. The project is funded by the Australian Government with a generous contribution of $1.5 million from The Ian Potter Foundation.
Image: Artist’s impression of the conservatory from the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ master plan