Chch: Building development ‘world-class’ for Botanic Gardens

Press Release – Christchurch City Council

Preparations for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens’ 150th Anniversary in 2013 are now underway, with the construction of a new multi-purpose Botanic Gardens Centre due to begin in the new year.16 December 2011

Building development ‘world-class’ for Botanic Gardens

Preparations for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens’ 150th Anniversary in 2013 are now underway, with the construction of a new multi-purpose Botanic Gardens Centre due to begin in the new year.

John Clemens, Curator of the Botanic Gardens says the new centre will enhance the Council’s ability to undertake research, conservation and educational activities, as well as display the wonders of the botanical world.

“Our vision for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is that they will be at the forefront in presenting the treasures of the plant world and our relationship with plants to the community,” he says.

“With the building of the new Botanic Gardens Centre, we will be taking two major steps towards achieving that vision: it will enhance our ability to reach out to visitors with engaging displays and exhibitions, and it will provide Botanic Gardens staff with the facilities they need to do the job to the best of their ability.”

Designed by leading architectural design firm, Pattersons Associates, the building will house first-class amenities including a research library, café, retail space, glasshouses, nursery, function room and staff offices, and once complete will feature as a highlight attraction during the 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2013.

“Our nursery area, where plants are grown for the grounds and conservatories, will come into full view for the first time. Our reference library and herbarium, which are important for research and education, will also be revealed,” says Dr Clemens.

Construction will take place on the current nursery and staff office site with clearing and demolition work of the existing facilities due to begin in January 2012.

Dr Clemens says that from a public perspective, while it may look like an impressive amount of garden area that has been cleared, the Botanic Gardens will gain much of it back with new garden areas being established in the long-term.

“As part of the demolition and land clearing process, while some trees will be felled, the majority of flora will be replanted and cuttings from bushes and shrubs will be nurtured for future plantings.”

Mayor Bob Parker says the Botanic Gardens Centre will enhance the Gardens’ world-class reputation and be a key feature of the anniversary celebrations in 2013.

It will also provide the community with a place in which to engage with Botanic Gardens staff, learn more about Canterbury’s unique flora and fauna and enjoy a coffee with family or friends in a stylish, serene setting.

“The new building is going to be stunning, and one that I’m sure the community will admire as an impressive modern focal point in the City – not to mention a key highlight of the Botanic Gardens’ 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2013,” he says.

“This is going to be a wonderful addition to our City and I look forward to seeing the development progress over the next few years.”

ENDS

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