The Australian Plant Bank for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Mount Annan had two objectives in its conception to be both a place for education and research. The architects at BVN designed the structure that focuses on research and preservation of indigenous plant life.
The facility focuses on NSW plant species and the re-growth and preservation of essential ecosystems. The building features scientific facilities, cold room storage, a drying room, incubators and various testing areas to conduct research.
With any conservation project, public education is extremely important which influenced the architects to design the interior with transparency in mind. The interior plan allows visitors of the facility to get an intimate look into the scientific research being conducted with direct views into the laboratory.
Due to the facility’s unique function, the architects were extremely mindful of their surroundings during construction. The architects integrated portions of the natural landscape into their design. For instance, they utilized zigzag paths that showcased local plant life; flowers, shrubs and various other localized flora.
With the cutting edge research-taking place within, the architects designed the exterior with a modern feel. They utilized a series of incorporated mirrored panels. Between the reflective strips, they chose full sized windows with protective perforated metal screens. The metal screens serve a sun shading capacity, allowing views to the exterior while limiting solar penetration to the interior.
Preservation, sustainability and conservation were goals that pushed the architects to compose initiative design solutions. They described, “The lichen garden uses remnant sandstone blocks rescued from demolished Sydney buildings to host exotic plant colonies; a symbolic returning of the once shaped urban sandstone back into its natural composure.”
The facility’s composition is extraordinary, both insightful and contemporary. The decision to utilize the landscape was done so with both the building’s orientation and its materials. The mirrored façade allows the structure to reflect its surroundings, ensuring that local plant life is proclaimed on both the interior and exterior.
photography © John Gollings
information courtesy of BVN
DISCLAIMER: The following project does not feature Alucobond® aluminum composite material (ACM). The “Industry (Architecture)” section of our blog focuses on extraordinary architectural works from around the world. While this project does not feature our ACM, we have included comparable samples to what was used in the project above.