Robert Clark Horticulture Centre

Ballarat Botanic Gardens

Client: City of Ballarat
Status: Complete 1995

This is an extraordinary project, made possible by a benefactor’s generous gift of $2 million and located in a botanical garden setting of great beauty and richness. A new public floral conservatory is a rare event, particularly one whose main function is the display of the strange and wondrous Tuberous Begonias. Rising like a giant crystal from the ground, the Robert Clark Conservatory is derived from nature. The crystalline facetted form of this building is made through the process of ‘origami’ folding to produce a transparent spidery web of steel and glass.

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“Elliott has created a glasshouse in the tradition of the great glass buildings of the last century. It is, as the jury described it, ‘an altogether beautiful, simple, structurally refined and thermally complex’ structure. It is the kind of architecture you don’t expect to bump into outside of major cities”

Joe Rollo, Contemporary Melbourne Architecture

“Technically and visually inventive, Peter Elliott’s pavilion of folded glass for the Ballarat Gardens in Victoria is a triumph of constructivist geometry…..this is a building of sublime hopes and small details..”

Norman Day, Architecture Australia 61, 1995