Thursday, 15 January 2009

Bicentennial Conservatory in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens

Adelaide is a well set out city.

South Australia was proclaimed in December 1836, and in 1837 Col Light in his plan of Adelaide showed an area set aside for a botanic garden. In April 1855, George Francis was appointed Superintendent, and the garden was opened to the public in 1857. In planning the layout, Francis is said to have been influenced by those at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in England and Versailles in France, together with certain German and Dutch stylistic influences. Even today, the Adelaide Botanic Garden has a northern European style, also reflected in its nineteenth century buildings.

Even in the present time of drought it is a 30-hectare garden oasis in the cosmopolitan heart of Adelaide city.

I have included some photos of the Bicentennial Conservatory.

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Built to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary, in 1988, it is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere. Designed by South Australian architect Guy Maron, the building is curvilinear in shape, 100 metres long, 47 metres wide and 27 metres high. An elegant steel superstructure supports the 2434 square metres of toughened glass which forms the roof, walls and doors. Its glistening and distinctive shape is a landmark particularly for visitors flying into Adelaide.

It houses a display of lowland tropical rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands. Many of these plants are at risk or endangered in their natural habitats.

A lower walkway winds across the undulating forest floor and an upper walkway takes visitors among the canopy of tropical trees and palms. Both walkways have full wheelchair access.

If you visit Adelaide, try to make a visit.


swenglishexpat said...

Impressive and beautiful! But it could be mistaken for a crash-landed spaceship partly buried in the ground.

Veronica said...

Now that it has been planted, it may need to grow to accomodate the size of some of the plants inside!

Anonymous said...

Conservatories make a great addition to any home and garden, consider how your garden conservatory will be used so you can choose the design that will be the most conducive to your current needs as well as your needs for the future.

Veronica said...

Thanks for your comment ... I will let the Adelaide Botanical Gardens know of your organisation ... however, you may have competition here in Australia!