NBRS+PARTNERS worked closely with the Taronga Conservation Society to design the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning located in the heart of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

Setting a new benchmark for conservation science and education facilities in the Southern Hemisphere, the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning is the first of its kind in the region. The learning institute supports the Taronga Conservation Society’s vision of a shared future, where wildlife and people live and thrive together; this objective is achieved by enabling Taronga to expand its capability in conservation science, research and learning programs.

NBRS Architecture collaborated with the Taronga Conservation Society from initial concept though to detailed design to develop an immersive work and learning environment that sets Taronga apart from other science and research institutions. After award of the building contract, Taylor Construction and BKA Architecture successfully took the project through construction to delivery.

Highlights of the science and research hub include world class facilities in an open and transparent environment to promote idea exchange between departments; purpose built laboratories, including a multi-disciplinary research laboratory, teaching laboratory and cyro-reserve among others.

Educational facilities provide the public as well as students from preschool to PhD with the opportunity to engage with science in a unique way. Digital teaching labs, immersive habitat learning spaces and teaching laboratories allow students to develop their interest in STEM with the aim of inspiring the next generation of conservation scientists.

The facility’s built form and material selection were inspired by the organic patterns in nature. The three-storey building is designed around a bright and airy atrium space that seamlessly links the Institute’s various functions and serves as a key orientation point.

Andrew Duffin, Design Director at NBRS said: “The purpose-built facility has provided an agile, transparent and sustainable environment that creates tangible links between theory and practice. The facility is a living example of conservation by achieving a 6 Star Green Star rating.”

John Kavanagh, Director at BKA Architecture said: “Our two practices are proud to have assisted with Taronga’s goal of creating a benchmark facility that establishes Australia as a globally significant contributor in zoo-based conservation science and learning.”

Image credit: Brett Boardman Photography