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Royal Botanic Garden set to dazzle Sydney
The Royal Botanic Garden will soon become home to a spectacular new environmental attraction, the Biome Top End. Inside futuristic biomes, visitors will be given a multi-sensory experience complete with plants, organic sounds, smells, insects, water and landscapes of Australia’s Top End. The new attraction will provide an entertaining learning experience for thousands of local families and international tourists.
New South Wales Environment Minister Robyn Parker announced on 4 March that Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden will be home to a spectacular new environmental attraction, the Biome Top End (Biome), which aims to significantly enhance visitor experiences for thousands of local families and international tourists.
Ms Parker said the Biome, which will stunningly reflect the defined climate and plants and animals of three different regions, including Australia’s Top End and New Guinea’s cloud forests, will be constructed on the site of the closed Sydney Tropical Centre in the Royal Botanic Garden.
‘Biome’s role is to inspire a new generation of advocates for the environment by offering a unique and inspiring experience at the Botanic Garden,’ Ms Parker said at the site of the new centre.
‘Inside futuristic biomes, visitors will be given a multi-sensory experience complete with plants, organic sounds, smells, insects, water and landscapes of Australia’s Top End, Malesia’s tropical lowland rainforests and New Guinea’s cloud forests.
‘Biome will be a terrific place for parents to take their children for an engaging, educational and fun filled adventure that has a far deeper purpose than simply entertainment.
‘Families would have to tackle three holidays in separate regions to experience what will be created in Biome. For children the Biomes will showcase the bizarre to the beautiful, the micro to the majestic - a place to delight and inspire both kids and adults.
‘For the school curriculum visitor, Biome will be a place where education programs are delivered in a contemporary manner and closely aligned to learning programs. Schools will connect via internet and multi-media so children in remote areas will not be left out.’
Construction of the Biome, which is expected to attract an extra 70,000 visitors a year to the Royal Botanic Garden, will start at the end of the year and be completed by mid 2015.
Ms Parker said the Biome experience, which is partly funded with a $16.7 million NSW Government grant, will educate visitors about the inter-relationship of plants and the land and people, including the celebration and interpretation of Aboriginal culture.
‘Biome will include billabongs complete with small birds, lizards and insects and visitors will see the rhizosphere and earth’s substratum-bedrock, subsoil, roots, topsoil, insects and humus layers in profile,’ Ms Parker said.
‘As well, there will be a breathtaking canopy walk that takes visitors from inside the Biome outside amongst treetops in the Royal Botanic Garden.’
The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, said fascinating and educating children will be a key focus of the Biome.
‘A part of our mission is to engage the young with all aspects of the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and enchanting children has been a special focus of this major educational hub,’ Prof Mabberley said.
‘We are grateful for the generous financial support of $16.745 million from the NSW Government towards the construction of Biome Top End. Funding for Biome Malesia and Biome Cloud Forest will come as part of proposals outlined in the projects Master Plan.’
HASSELL is responsible for the design of Biome and development of the concept in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
HASSELL architect Ross de la Motte said Biome has a simple and compelling purpose.
‘Biome will immerse children, families and tourists in a fun-filled, 40 minute, high impact experience with the aim of recruiting new advocates for the environment charged with a mission to make a difference,’ Mr de la Motte said.
‘Biome will be a new cultural touchstone for Sydney and continues the evolution of one of the great botanic gardens of the world.’