NATIONAL CATEGORY WINNER
GOLD AWARD WINNER
Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Christchurch
Leighs Construction Limited (Construction Company)
Patterson Associates (Architect/Designer), Cosgroves Limited (Fire Engineer), Ian Harrison & Associates (Quantity Surveyor), eCubed Building Workshop Limited (Services Engineer), Xona Limited (Structural Engineer)
Christchurch City Council
The vision for the new visitor centre was to provide a place where visitors can learn more about Canterbury’s unique flora and fauna and enjoy a stylish, serene setting.
While the building is designed to foster botanic science research and education it also comprises a shop and café, Library, function and meeting rooms, an exhibition area and green and shade houses. Mirrored glass at the rear of the glasshouse provides privacy to staff offices and lunchroom, the herbarium and potting shed.
Constructed from glass and steel, most of the building was manufactured and pre-finished off site with the surface and material finishes all exposed. 3D modelling was extensively used to co-ordinate very minimal tolerances between all the components, particularly the connections between the structural steel frame, the complex glass panels, the precast concrete panels and ceilings.
The extensive use of glass allows a great sense of spaciousness and connectedness between the interior and exterior environments. A popular visitor attraction for both local Cantabrians and visitors to the region, the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre is a stunning contemporary building that is a credit to all the disciplines involved in this project.