Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne – Nature and Science Precinct

Client: Royal Botanic Gardens Board

Planning for Australia’s first Nature and Science Precinct preserves our botanical heritage to inspire, educate and connect visitors with the natural environment


The Project

The Royal Botanic Gardens has a deep and enduring role, enriched life in Melbourne for more than 170 years, and is now poised to build on its proud tradition with Australia’s first Nature and Science Precinct.

The masterplan integrates the landscaped gardens and protection of the Gardens extensive and diverse collection to an expanded mission to reconnect people with their natural environment at the intersection of wellbeing, scientific knowledge and environmentalism.

Sensitively designed facilities will educate and engage visitors. A refreshed Herbarium will preserve and improve access to the significant scientific collection, with the historic building becoming an engagement hub, the focal point for visitor and learning experiences inspired by the vision for the Melbourne Garden: ‘life is sustained and enriched by plants’.

Commercial opportunities that reinforce the connection between wellness and engagement with the natural world are embedded into a masterplan delivered by a team led by Kirsten Thompson Architects.

Our Role

Expertise in cultural precinct planning and an understanding of the needs of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board developed over several projects helped The Maytrix Group to take a holistic approach to informing the master plan.

Focusing on accessibility, engagement and integration with the wider Melbourne Arts Precinct, we identified strategies to engage with a broader audience explored sustainable ways to enhance commercial opportunities through day and night activation.

Successful activation of the Herbarium and surrounding precinct will not only support commercial goals but help visitors to establish a personal connection to the natural world and the historic significance of the Herbarium and its role in establishing Melbourne as a place of science and enlightenment.

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