BVN Donovan Hill, Australian PlantBank, Australian seeds, Australian native plants, native plants, plantbank, Australian royal botanic gardens, passive design, Cumberland plain forest, plant nursery, native seeds, gas boosted solar hot water, thermal labyrinth, cross ventilation

Built to preserve Australia’s indigenous botanical heritage, the PlantBank consists of research laboratories and teaching facilities that specialize in studying a collection of 25,000 native seeds. Visitor amenities take shape in the open exhibition rooms and ramped entranceway flanked with various learning landscapes including outdoor gardens with interpretative signage. BVN Donovan Hill chose building materials that would blur the boundaries between the built and natural landscape; the reflective stainless steel panels reflect images of the landscape onto the building face and the structure’s concrete base symbolizes abstracted earth.

Related: Canberra’s National Arboretum & Visitor Centre Protects 100 of the World’s Endangered Trees

To minimize energy consumption, the PlantBank arcs to the north and is protected by solar shading features such as glass louvres. The open plan also allows for east to west cross ventilation. A thermal labyrinth installed beneath the east wing captures and dissipates heat into the ground to reduce the HVAC load. The PlantBank also harvest rainwater and feeds collected water into a gas boost solar hot water system on the roof.

+ BVN Donovan Hill

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Images via BVN Donovan Hill