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Bicentennial Conservatory


Built to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary (1988), the Bicentennial Conservatory in the Adelaide Botanic Garden is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere. Designed by South Australian architect Guy Maron, the building is curvilinear in shape, 100 metres long, 47 metres wide and 27 metres high. An elegant steel superstructure supports the 2434 square metres of toughened glass which forms the roof, walls and doors. Its glistening and distinctive shape is a landmark particularly for visitors flying into Adelaide.
The Bicentennial Conservatory houses a display of lowland tropical rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands. Many of these plants are at risk or endangered in their natural habitats.
A lower walkway winds across the undulating forest floor and an upper walkway takes visitors among the canopy of tropical trees and palms
Environment
The warm and humid conditions required by the tropical rainforest plants in the Bicentennial Conservatory are maintained by computer. Twelve sensors within the building and a weather station on the roof continually collect data for the computer which makes appropriate adjustments to the heating, misting and ventilation.
A thousand nozzles positioned on the inside of the roof structure "cloud" by emitting many thousands of microscopic droplets of water which act as a very efficient cooling, shading and humidifying system when required. Night time temperature is maintained at 15º C with a minimum daytime temperature of 23º C, and a maximum of 33º C. The relative humidity is maintained between 70% and 80%.

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