Geelong Botanic Gardens new visitor facilities will provide garden visitors with new toilets and shelter for groups. The shelter becomes our ‘outdoor classroom’ for our education program.
This is the third stage of the project. We first needed to install a sewer line to remove sewage from site. Then we updated the toilets near the meeting room to flushing toilets. Now we are building the facility.
The final stage is to develop the landscape surrounding the building. This includes landscape design and irrigation design. New pathways will connect the building to the Teahouse Lawn and existing pathways. New garden beds and lawns will extend the gardens to the south.
The building has been positioned in an area south of the garden which is currently undeveloped.
This carefully chosen location means that the low profile building won’t have a big impact on views from the existing garden or surrounding Eastern Park. It also means that our important plant collection won’t be affected.
The Eastern Park and Geelong Botanic Gardens Strategic Plan identified the need for a second toilet block within the gardens.
The plan also includes an action to enhance the visitor experience through public programs and improved facilities.
Our Architect was given a brief to design a building in harmony with our amazing garden. A garden is a growing and changing place so we wanted a building that respected the gardens history and enabled us to support contemporary visitor needs.
We want people using the building to feel that they are in an outdoor place where they can fully enjoy the gardens. So the pavilion has a wall to protect from the wind and afternoon sun. The other side is open so you can view some of the gardens amazing trees.
We are using durable materials appropriate for an indoor/outdoor building. External walls are non-reflective zinc cladding which is a dark blue grey. This colour blends well into the surrounding landscape. Internal walls will have some timber paneling and floors will be concrete.
The Eastern Park and Geelong Botanic Gardens are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. During the planning phase A Cultural Heritage Management Plan was approved for the installation of the sewer line.
A publicly advertised permit was approved by Heritage Victoria for the building design and location.