The Australian National Botanic Gardens has launched a new nationwide competition for the design of the Ian Potter National Conservatory. Planned as a showcase for tropical Australian native flora, the Conservatory will expand the Gardens’ capability to conserve and display the world’s most comprehensive collection of living Australian native plants.

Endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, the National Design Competition invites eligible architects and their multidisciplinary design teams from across Australia to submit Expressions of Interest, with up to four teams to be selected from the EOI to compete in the design contest. An eminent competition jury chaired by award-winning architect Richard Johnson AO will judge the entries, with the winning architect to be announced in July 2016.

The Conservatory is one of the major recommendations from the 2015 Gardens Master Plan and construction is planned to commence in early 2017 with the official opening in early 2018. The project is funded by the Australian Government with a generous contribution of $1.5 million from The Ian Potter Foundation.

Expressions of Interest must be submitted by 4pm on Thursday 5 May 2016. Up to four entrants will be selected to participate in the design competition with winners to be announced on 18 July 2016.