Department of Parks and Wildlife - Kensington Masterplan
A detailed accommodation review prepared by the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) identified the need for the reorganisation of accommodation and the provision of new infrastructure to address critical needs of the Kensington site.
The challenge was to effectively and efficiently consolidate activities currently spread across seven sites within one complex. This included addressing internal traffic congestion, security issues and the landscape potential of the site. Specific requirements were tested against possible generic models, and similar existing botanical facilities were used as benchmarks for comparison.
Central management of access to irreplaceable plant collections and the frequent access to all parts of the collections meant that storage systems had to be carefully considered and all risks evaluated.
The proposal focuses around an internal courtyard which is intended to unite the existing cluster with the new development and form the interaction point for all staff. Staff amenities, library and seminar facilities can lead into this court. The stretched form oriented east-west allows the maximum potential employment of passive solar techniques to moderate environmental extremes. Narrow wings and an atrium allow penetration of natural light into all areas of the plan. In addition, the building form has the ability to form the base of a photovoltaic installation capable of generating 200,000 kWh of electricity annually and saving 190,000 kg of greenhouse gas.
The outcome of the masterplan highlighted ways to:
Eliminate wastage and shape ultimate life cycle costs
Promote the creation of a working environment which would attract and retain high quality staff
Produce an environmentally responsible solution
Produce a financially prudent response that is cognizant of budgetary constraints.