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The National Arboretum
Brett Boardman
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Resilient Flooring Forbo Flooring Systems
Grated Drain ACO Polycrete Pty Ltd
Stone PaverAllstone Pty Lty
Floor Tile Bettertiles
Entrance MatClassic Architectural Products
Colour – backed Glass DecoGlaze

Product Spec Sheet
Resilient Flooring
Grated Drain
Stone Paver
Floor Tile
Colour – backed Glass

The National Arboretum by Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

T.C.L - Taylor Cullity Lethlean as Landscape Architects

The National Arboretum Canberra redefines the meaning of a public garden in the 21st Century. It comprises 100 forests of endangered tree species from around the world on a 250 hectare former fire ravaged site.

Growing out of the very real issues of sustainability, biodiversity and public environmental concern, the National Arboretum is a strategy, a program and an on-going event, not a design chiefly based on aesthetics.

The 100 forests not only provide a unique experience – the pleasure of being enveloped in a forest of one species – but are also seed banks for the future. Each holds a viable population to preserve vulnerable and endangered species. The topography of the site informs the planning, with elements contrasting and harmonizing with the dramatic landform – nature and culture in juxtaposition. The 100 Forests, Clearings, Central Valley and Gardens form a set of contrasting spatial experiences and activity settings that complement each other to form a cohesive whole. Woven into the topography and purpose of the site, these spaces offer the Arboretum visitor a rich array of opportunities to experience and explore the significance of trees, plants and gardens in the contemporary world.

As it develops into the future, the National Arboretum will build links across the world, an exchange of knowledge and actual plant material that will work towards reversing the planet’s loss of biodiversity.

Artwork as well as ecology is a significant part of the Arboretum, based on the themes of regeneration on which the design is based.

The National Arboretum is a place of unequalled beauty and relevance, rich in both experiences and ideas.

National Arboretum

Tonkin Zulaikha Greer as Architects

In association with landscape architects, Taylor CullityLethlean (TCL), this visionary project evolved from the 2004 design competition that called for an Arboretum of international significance that would provide a botanical collection and associated buildings to suit educational, scientific, conservation and research purposes. In 2013, marking the Centenary of Canberra, the National Arboretum including the Visitor Centre and Margaret Whitlam Pavilion opened to the public.


The National Arboretum is currently a collection of over 44,000 rare and endangered trees growing in currently 94 forests. Each forest showcases a single iconic species that has been selected from a worldwide list of endangered trees, curated according to the colour of foliage, pattern of bark and leaf, filigree of branches, scent and texture, and suitability to the local microclimate.


A simple formal geometry responds to Walter Burley Griffin’s Water Axis and interacts with the landform on which it is laid. 250 metre wide forest bands are defined by clearings that lead to the lake. Traversing the site, the forests immerse the visitor and then sequentially open to the views outwards, creating an immersive experience of colour, form and texture as well as a repository of biodiversity.


The spaces also provide an opportunity for themed gardens, sponsored plantings and temporary exhibits, performances, artworks and garden designs. The 1400m long Central Valley forms a focal clearing at the centre of the site, with a sculpted series of terraces linked by a cascading stream and fully accessible path.


A carefully choreographed arrival sequence, through forests and the sculpted landforms of the Central Valley, climbs to the Arboretum’s ‘heart’ - the arching canopy of the Village Centre and the dramatic focus of the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, arranged along the multi-use Events Terrace.


Material Used :
1. Paint Finish by Dulux Australia
2. Wall Tileby Johnson Tiles Group
3. Colour – backed Glass by Decoglaze
4. Gabion Rock and Mesh by Maccaferri Australia
5. Carpetby EC Group
6. Resilient Flooring by Forbo Floor coverings
7. Concrete Paverby Stone Directions
8. Pebblesby Menai Sand and Soil
9. Stone Paver by Allstone Pty Lty
10. Entrance Mat by Classic Architectural Products
11. Grated Drain by ACO Polycrete Pty Lty
12. Floor Tile by Better tiles
13. Laminate Finsih – The Laminex Group

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