Five architectural practices were selected from 39 submissions received by the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) to design the proposed Ian Potter National Conservatory in Canberra.

BVN, CHROFI, Grimshaw Architects, Sean Godsell Architects and Terroir will now be given two months to develop their design proposals and a winner will be announced on 18 July 2016. 

Part of the 20-year masterplan prepared by Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG), the proposed Ian Potter National Conservatory is being planned as a showcase of tropical native flora from northern Australia. A visitors’ centre, cafe and function centre, a wedding garden, an amphitheatre, a treetop adventure ropes course and an eco-lodge are also part of the masterplan.

ANBG executive director Judy West said the Ian Potter National Conservatory will define the Gardens as the leading conservator of such plants, contributing to their mission to inspire, inform and connect people to the Australian flora.

All five design proposals will  be exhibited at the ANGB.

Funded by the Australian Government and a $1.5 million grant from the Ian Potter Foundation, the construction of the winning conservatory design is expected to begin early 2017 with the opening due early 2018.

Image: The Australian National Botanic Gardens (Courtesy Australian National Botanic Gardens)