A South Australian heritage and cultural icon, the Adelaide Botanic Garden Bicentennial Conservatory, is more than just an impressive structure. The award-winning building is synonymous with the botanic garden and its quest to connect people with plants and inspire a community to contribute to the sustainability of our living world. Designed by South Australian architect Guy Maron and built in 1988, the Bicentennial Conservatory is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere. Inside the Conservatory is a display of lowland rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and from nearby Pacific Islands, many of which are at risk or endangered in their natural habitats. A lower walkway winds across the undulating forest floor and an upper walkway places visitors amongst the canopies. The Conservatory received a Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA, SA Chapter) Award of Merit (1990) and the RAIA Sir Zelman Cowan Award (1991), which is widely recognised as Australia’s leading award for public buildings. It was rated the 9th best building in Australia in a poll by The Australian (2010) and received the Jack Cheesman Award for Enduring Architecture in South Australia (2014). In 2014 the Conservatory became the ‘youngest’ building in SA to receive heritage listing; the South Australian Heritage Council has described it as an outstanding example of the late 20th century structuralist style in Australia. This tour is the opportunity to visit this icon and hear from the Deputy Director, the behind-the-scenes stories of its history and its planned future.
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