The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Open the Taronga Institute
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have officially opened the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning at Sydney’s world-famous Taronga Zoo.
As part of their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, the royal couple visited the Institute to learn about the ground-breaking work the zoo is undertaking and to engage with conservation in a unique way. The first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the Institute is a living laboratory for conservation education and scientific investigation, built to empower the scientists of tomorrow.
The central concept was based around bringing together three major hubs; Learning, Science, and Visitor Experience. These functions seamlessly connect via branching arms intersecting in a central light filled atrium.
The Scientific Hub provides a unique, on site facility to showcase and benefit from the zoo’s unique data and specimens. State of the art research facilities allow Taronga’s scientists to explore ways to protect endangered species. It is a facility not only for staff but university students, fostering the next generation of conservation innovation.
The design houses tutorial learning environments that allow students from all backgrounds and levels of study to interact with the zoo. From early learning, through to high school and beyond, to researchers and tertiary students, the Learning Hub is a space that will support over 150,000 visits per year and will elevate the depth of educational engagement. Three carefully crafted immersive learning environments themed around rainforest, arid and woodland habitats provide authentic learning experiences for students and transform education at the Zoo.
The collaborative Visitor Hub is a unique space that allows a true connection between visitors and the Institute. The hub has been specifically designed for experiences to create a closer bond between students, scientists and 300 staff. An aspirational environment, the space will provide more students and visitors with a remarkable opportunity to view science and discover first hand.
Andrew Duffin, Director of Design at NBRSARCHITECTURE said: “Our team is honoured that Their Royal Highnesses have opened the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. We are very proud of the design and are delighted to have had the opportunity to showcase this pioneering facility.”
He continued: “From the outset we worked closely with the Taronga Conservation Society to create a benchmark facility which would evoke its core purposes of conservation. From the big ideas of branching arms centred on a light filled atrium, down to the detail of the cell like façade, the result is a beautifully crafted experiential environment.”
NBRS worked closely with the Taronga Conservation Society from initial concept though to detailed design to develop an immersive work and learning environment that sets Taronga apart from other science and research institutions. After award of the building contract, Taylor Construction and BKA Architecture successfully progressed the project through construction to delivery.