City of design day twenty two – National Arboretum

Thursday, 17 November 2023


Designed by landscape architecture firm, Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), and architecture firm, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG), the National Arboretum is an award-winning project that includes 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. Spread out over a 250 (618) hectare site, the National Arboretum is one of the world’s largest collections of rare, endangered and significant trees.

The National Arboretum also boasts a host of visitor and research facilities, including the dramatic Village Centre building – designed by TZG – with panoramic views over Canberra, a nature themed playground, and sculptural installations by high-profile Australian artists. The Arboretum opened to the public in 2013, as part of Canberra’s centenary celebrations.

TCL and TZG were awarded the Landscape of the Year award at the 2014 World Architecture Festival for their work on the project. TCL Director, Perry Lethlean, said of the design:

“Rather than a collection of individual trees as specimens, we wanted to create grand forests that offer unique and contrasting visitor experiences and hold a viable population to preserve vulnerable and endangered species…It is a strategy, a program and an ongoing event, not a design based chiefly on aesthetics.”ArchitectureAU

Image: Via Taylor Cullity Lethlean.

City of design day twenty two - National Arboretum