“Bowral Conservatory,” a design by John Wardle Architects (JWA), has been selected as winner of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens competition, with construction to start in 2018/19.
The new building will be the centrepiece of the Southern Highland Botanic Gardens, which is currently under development and one of Australia’s youngest botanic gardens after being launched in 2013.
JWA has said that the design features a stone wall that forms part of the wider parterre garden, ensuring the new building will fit seamlessly into the site. Views out will be carefully framed so visitors steal glimpses of the gardens beyond, as well as huge floor to ceiling glass windows that will give panoramic vistas of the site as well.
The new building will be of significant size, housing both a gallery and cafe that are placed to make visitors feel as though they’re exploring a ‘secret garden’. Renders of the building’s interior show a mix of brick walls that vary in height without obstructing views out, as well as long gallery spaces with planted beds and roofs adorned with large, lush hanging installations.
The building’s metal skeleton also looks set to be the frame for a large arbor that will sweep the whole length of the construction.
JWA will be working closely with the garden’s developers, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, who have had their fingers in several major landscape developments in Australia over the past 15 years, including RBG Cranbourne, Birrarung Marr and the National Arboretum in Canberra.
The Southern Highlands Botanic Garden, which will feature both Australian and introduced plants, will be one to watch over the coming years.