NSW Herbarium

Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan

We were engaged by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust to conduct a feasibility study into the relocation of the NSW Herbarium from its current site in the Royal Botanical Gardens to a new site at the Australian Botanical Gardens in Mount Annan. The feasibility study also examined how the existing Herbarium Building in the Royal Botanical Gardens (The Brown Building) could be re-purposed as a commercial development.

The feasibility study was comprised of 2 main parts. The first part was the master-planning and concept planning for both the Herbarium and the Brown Building. The requirements and constraints for both buildings were considerable; The Herbarium has complex specimen preservation and quarantine requirements, sensitive site constraints and considerable need for a generous public engagement. The Brown Building is constrained by the idiosyncrasies of the original 1970’s brutalist building, the sensitivity and prominence of the Royal Botanical Gardens Site and the complex mix of public, private and commercial functions required for the building.

The second part of the feasibility study was to assemble a team of engineers, cost professionals and sustainability experts to test the concept plans against the practicalities and affordability of the scheme. This part of the study required intensive collaboration through workshops and collaborative design meetings to craft the feasibility study into a robust proposal for presentation to the NSW Treasury.



Project Team

Sam Crawford, Imogene Tudor, Matthew Bolton

Consultant Team

Building Services Systems/ ESD – ARUP
Quantity Surveyor – Altus Page Kirkland
Structural Engineer – ARUP

Services Provided

Concept Design, Feasibility Study


Concept Design – 6 weeks
Feasibility Study – 4 weeks


Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust