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14 Jun 2019

First look at designs for new Herbarium

The first concept images for the new National Herbarium of NSW have been revealed as part of the NSW Government’s $60 million commitment to create a new state-of-the-art Herbarium in Western Sydney.

A game-changer for botanic science

The National Herbarium of NSW houses over 1.4 million vital plant specimens, including those collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on Captain Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific in 1770.

To safeguard the growing collection, the herbarium will be relocated from its current home at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to be built next to the award-winning Australian Plantbank at Mount Annan. 

The new Herbairum will form part of the Australian Institute of Botanical Science, a new name to unite all science facilities, research and the living collections at botanic gardens across Sydney.   

The Australian Institute of Botanical Science will provide a place for global best practice research and will launch NSW’s botanic science to the next level by enhancing the Garden’s role as global leaders and innovators in plant conservation.

It will also provide opportunities to partner with other research institutions and industries, attracting world leading researchers and associated post graduate students.

Aerial view of the Australian PlantBank at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan where the new Herbarium will be constructed. 
One of the concept designs of the new Herbarium created by leading Australian architecture firm, Architectus, with Richard Leplastrier and Craig Burton in conjunction with FDC Construction & Fitout.
Fly-through preview of the new National Herbarium of NSW at Mount Annan. New Herbarium design created by Architectus, with Richard Leplastrier and Craig Burton, in conjunction with FDC Construction & Fitout. Fly-through video created by Virtual Ideas. 

Key design elements and inspiration

The design for the new Herbarium is being created by leading Australian architecture firm, Architectus, with Richard Leplastrier and Craig Burton in conjunction with FDC Construction & Fitout.

The seed pod of NSW’s floral emblem, the Waratah, is the main inspiration for the design of the new Institute, which includes ecologically sensitive and energy saving features.

A key feature of the new herbarium facility is protective vaults made of thermal mass materials to shield the growing collection of over 1.4 million plant specimens from bushfires and other extreme temperature events. 

The final designs will be carried out over coming months, with construction works due to begin later this year.

In preparation for the move, the 1.4 million plant specimens are also becoming high resolution digital images, which is the largest herbarium imaging project in the southern hemisphere.

Keep up to date with the digitisation project here or hit play and listen the Garden's Branch Out podcast episode 'unlocking the power of plant data' below. 

Second concept design of the new herbarium. Created by leading Australian architecture firm, Architectus, with Richard Leplastrier and Craig Burton in conjunction with FDC Construction & Fitout.
Category: Science

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