Ian Potter National Conservatory
Architectural Design Competition.
Australian National Botanic Gardens (the Gardens) invited expressions of interest from architects and their multidisciplinary teams for a Limited (select) Project Competition for the design of The Ian Potter National Conservatory within the Gardens in Canberra. From the 39 expressions of interest received from across Australia, five architects were invited to participate as ‘entrants’ in the select competition of which Grimshaw Architects was one.
The Conservatory will be a national and international showcase for tropical Australian native flora. It will define the Gardens as the leading conservator of such plants contributing to its mission to inspire, inform and connect people to the Australian flora.
The competition required 6 A0 sized architectural boards outlining the proposed design and explaining specific elements with a scale model of the design and a Jury presentation. Additionally, we produced a booklet for the judges as a leave behind. The brand identity for the competition materials centres around the scientific botanical illustration of the Eastern Australian orchid, Sarcochilus hartmannii.
Grimshaw’s design takes us through an immersive journey of sensation, spectacle and marvel designed to deliver an experience equivalent to going down the botanical rabbit hole. The design conceptually seeks to remove the visitor from the ordinary world to one of wonder and to return them with the souvenir (of) knowing you will be forever changed and be compelled to return.