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Design concept of the Ian Potter National Conservatory

Master Plan for the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Ian Potter National Conservatory

Towards the future: Inspiration, Conservation, Education and Recreation

The Master Plan will guide the Gardens' infrastructure development to support enhanced visitor experiences, horticulture and research capabilities through 2035. This long-term vision will ensure that the Gardens remain at the forefront of contemporary gardens world-wide.

Key features of the Master Plan include:

  • the Ian Potter National Conservatory to display tropical plants from northern Australia and our Islands
  • A new National Seed Bank to help conserve our native flora
  • a new Visitor Centre and Cafe
  • Children’s Nature Play Terrace
  • Ecotourism activities in the bushland precinct.

Fulfilment of this plan will ensure the Gardens continue to grow as an outstanding botanic garden for the benefit of generations to come. One of Australia's most experienced master planning teams developed the Master Plan - Architecture firm Tonkin Kulaikha Greer and landscape architects Taylor Cullity Lethlean.

Download Master Plan Overview Brochure - PDF
Download Master Plan Overview Brochure - Word (text only)

Download Master Plan for the Australian National Botanic Gardens - PDF
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Download Australian National Botanic Gardens Master Plan - Word (text only)

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The Ian Potter National Conservatory

The Ian Potter National Conservatory is a key new attraction identified as part of the Garden's Master Plan 2015 - 2035. The Conservatory will be a national showcase for tropical Australian native flora from the far north and islands, including rare and threatened species. The Conservatory will become a major destination in Canberra and interpret the rich story of Australia's tropical flora.

The Melbourne-based Ian Potter Foundation, one of Australia's largest philanthropic organisations, has committed $1.5 million to the Conservatory, its biggest investment outside of Melbourne. Remaining funding for the project will be provided by the Australian Government, Parks Australia.

The Gardens undertook a design competition to select an architect and design team to design The Ian Potter National Conservatory.

The Winning Design

The design by acclaimed Sydney architects CHROFI has been selected for the Ian Potter National Conservatory, with the winning "hovering cube" design framed by a void to the sky and transparent and translucent layered skins.

Five finalists were chosen from a national call for expressions of interest, with the design by architects CHROFI selected for their innovative, bold and environmentally-conscious design. See the National Design Competition Jury Report

CHROFI collaborated with McGregor Coxall and Atelier Ten to produce the winning design. The Ian Potter National Conservatory is conceived as an entirely new type of conservatory - a gallery for plants for the 21st century. Rather than the traditional uniform glass envelope, a series of rooms offer a variety of immersive spaces that provide visitors multiple ways to interact with and experience the living exhibit.

Design concept of the Ian Potter National Conservatory




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