The Australian PlantBank
The recently-unveiled Australian PlantBank – the science and research facility of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust – has been recognised with two prestigious honours at the NSW Architecture Awards.
Presented on 26 June by the Australian Institute of Architects, the awards named the Australian PlantBank among a small group of winners in the highly competitive ‘Public Architecture’ and ‘Sustainable Architecture’ categories.
According to the Australian Institute of Architects jury, the Australian PlantBank is “a carefully composed and sensitively detailed building, bringing together the different uses of research and public education in a well-crafted whole”.
The Australian PlantBank is based at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan (in the Macarthur region, south-west of Sydney), and was designed by multi-award-winning Australian architectural practice, BVN Donovan Hill.
Kim Ellis, Executive Director Sydney Parklands and Botanic Gardens, said the Australian PlantBank was now recognised not only as a cutting-edge centre for plant research and learning, but also as a leader in terms of architectural design and sustainability.
“The collaborative efforts of architects BVN Donovan Hill and the project team at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, have resulted in a highly-sustainable building from the ground up, with a design focused on energy efficiency,” Mr Ellis said.
The Australian PlantBank’s sustainable features include:
• innovative design to minimise the use of non-renewable energy sources
• water harvesting to reduce the use of non-renewable water
• low maintenance materials
• products made from sustainable components or recycled materials
• materials with low combustibility to address the risk of bush fire from the adjacent critically-endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland.
As a winner, the Australian PlantBank will now progress to the National Architecture Awards, to be announced on 6 November 2014 in Darwin. An exhibition of the NSW award winners is currently on show at Tusculum (3 Manning Street, Potts Point, Sydney).
The Australian PlantBank is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan. Join free guided walking tours of the Garden and PlantBank by phoning the Visitor Centre on (02) 4634-7935.
Members of the public are also warmly invited to attend the Australian PlantBank Open Day during Science Week on Sunday 24 August 2014 between 11 am and 4 pm. Visit www.scienceweek.net.au/the-australian-plantbank-open-day/ for more details.