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A prestigious new facility for Taronga Zoo

The three-storey Institute of Science and Learning was inspired by the natural world and is an expression of Taronga Zoo’s sustainability credentials and continuous conservation efforts. Designed by NBRS Architecture, the space provides an aesthetically pleasing and functional environment for scientists, educators and visitors coexisting under the institute’s roof.

Ola Moszumanska


March 3rd, 2020

Located in the stunning setting of Sydney’s iconic harbour is Taronga Zoo’s Institute of Science and Learning. Sydney’s beloved zoo has been overlooking the city’s waterfront for over 100 years but this new and prestigious institute is the first facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Born out of the desire to showcase Taronga’s sustainability leader status, NBRS Architecture was engaged to create a world-class design anchored in the wonders of the natural world. ‘Sustainability for the zoo is imperative for their conservation efforts. The zoo wants to be a leader in sustainability and this is a project that really demonstrates that,’ said Ewan Saunders, NBRS Architecture Associate. The building boasts an array of sustainable features throughout – from innovative energy saving solutions and recycled internal linings, to the facade which resembles a cell formation and the hexagonal shape of the Bellinger River snapping turtle’s shell as a nod to the institute’s conservational agenda.

The facility’s unique role in allowing various user groups to work on and learn about Taronga’s conservation efforts called for clever storage solutions that created a clean, flexible space for the zoo’s employees and visitors.

In a recent conversation about the project , Ewan Saunders said: ‘This building has very different user groups and is very flexible in how it operates. Storage space was fundamental in ensuring that it was still presented as a neat and clean building. Key to creating nice environments is having flexible storage solutions so that the office environment and the educational environment can be pristine and functional.’

Varied and bespoke, the building’s storage solutions were added to facilite a productive and practical learning environment that didn’t compromise on the overall look of the space. Working with CSM Office Furniture, NBRS Architecture provided multiple options to cater for the facility’s shared users. From Infinity Tambour Door Cabinets, Infinity Open Bookcases, Infinity Planter Boxes, Rolling Storage, Workplace Lockers, Mobiletti Pedestals and Sistema Wall units, the storage plan offers opportunities for storage, display and filing that compliment the organic and natural design of the building.

CSM Lite Track Rolling Storage

CSM Trove Lockers

With all project works completed to an exceptional standard, the facility achieved a 6 Star Green Star Rating, making this innovative science, learning and conservation facility a tremendous world-class success for the client, project partners and global conservation industry.

All photography by Alexander Mayes Photography

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