"This was the first botanical garden purely
for Australian native plants"

| 3 comments

Movie: in our second exclusive interview from this year's World Architecture Festival, Scott Adams of Taylor Cullity Lethlean discusses the design of The Australian Garden, which won the award for best landscape project.

Scott Adams of Taylor Cullity Lethlean portrait
Scott Adams of Taylor Cullity Lethlean

The Australian Garden by landscape studio Taylor Cullity Lethlean and plant expert Paul Thompson is a 25-hectare area of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne, Australia, dedicated to the country's indigenous plant life.

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

"This was the first botanical garden in Australia, if not the world, that is for Australian natives only," Adams says.

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

"There has been a strong bush garden movement [in Australia], which started off in the 1970s and 1980s. But this takes it to another level. It's not just about using native plants, but really celebrating the qualities and properties of them."

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

The structure of the garden is based around the flow of water, Adams goes on to explain.

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

"Australia is an island surrounded by water with desert in the inside," he says. "We wanted to tell the journey about the water moving from the desert to the coast, so the botanical garden is set up to form a narrative for the Australian landscape."

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

There is limited signage at the garden, a decision Adams says was designed to increase visitors' sense of discovery.

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

"We wanted the visitor to take home their own experience, rather than to have signage to tell them what they should be feeling or what they should be seeing," he says.

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

"You go there and you make your own journey, and your own discoveries, and take home your own findings."

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

World Architecture Festival 2013 took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 2-4 October. Next year's World Architecture Festival will take place at the same venue from 1-3 October 2014. Award entries are open from February to June 2014.

The Australian Garden by Taylor Cullity Lethlean_WAF2013

  • A Canberra Landscape Architect

    What about the Australian National botanical gardens in Canberra? Only native plants there and in a natural environment.

    • Tim

      Where’s Canberra?

  • Greg

    He doesn’t even mention Paul Thompson, the expert responsible for curating the plants that make the garden so amazing.