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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: world heritage world futures (4)

REB garden finished!

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
28 February 2011
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Comments (3)

“The fountain is fountaining!” announced a colleague last Thursday. He’d passed the French Fountain in the eastern forecourt of the Royal Exhibition Building and noticed that it was flowing for the first time in ages. Years of drought and water restrictions meant the fountain has been out of action. However now that there are over a million litres of water stored in new tanks under the REB’s western forecourt, the fountain can run again.

It was recomissioned for the opening of the newly-completed German Garden, a careful restoration of the original garden that stood on the site for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. You’d never know that under the lush lawns and new garden beds – which follow the exact shape of the 1880 design – there’s a massive water tank and network of pipes to collect and distribute rainwater. Not only the gardens around the REB, but also Melbourne Museum’s Forest Gallery and Milarri Garden will benefit from this new sustainable water supply.

Completed western forecourt garden The Royal Exhibition Building's completed German Garden in the western forecourt on Rathdowne Street.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Thursday’s event marked the completion of the 18-month project World Heritage, World Futures. Even as the speeches were underway, people were wandering through the new landscape after so many months of it being hidden behind construction hoardings. Special guests, Minister for Consumer Affairs, the Hon Michael O’Brien, and Margaret Gardner AO, President of the Museums Board of Victoria, snipped the ceremonial purple ribbon and declared the garden open.

Guests at the garden opening Guests at the garden opening. L-R: Dr Patrick Greene, CEO of Museum Victoria; Dr. Anne-Marie Schleich, German Consul General; Professorr Margaret Gardner AO, President of the Museums Board of Victoria; the Hon Michael O’Brien, Minister for Consumer Affairs and the Right Hon the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Please come and admire the new garden with its restored iron gate, reinstated urns and stately plantings on your next visit to Carlton.

Performers in period costume Performers in period costume test out the new garden.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Lavender and jacarandas

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
1 February 2011
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Comments (2)

In Melbourne's sizzling 38ºC heat today, the landscaping crew are planting out the Royal Exhibition Building western forecourt. The larger trees - including jacarandas, oaks and araucarias - are already planted. Pots and pots of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) and other plants have arrived and will go into the ground this week.

Plants in truck Plants arriving in trucks.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

  pots of lavender Plants in pots lined up near the central circular garden.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Workers on the REB site Landscapers planting out patches of lamb's ear.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The landscape architect, Barrie Gallagher from CDA Design Group, used plant catalogues from the 1800s, newspaper reports and early pictures of the site to design a garden that would reflect the original planting. The design is an informal arrangement of plants that would have been common in Victorian-era gardens, including sage, penstemon, flaxes and cabbage trees, within the beds around the formal circular driveway. Wonderful fragrant plants, such as mock orange, daphne and roses, will ensure the western forecourt garden will soon delight our noses as well as our eyes.

Planting the sustainable garden

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
20 January 2011
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Comments (0)

From the 1950s to 2009, the western forecourt of the Royal Exhibition Building was an asphalt car park - useful, but hardly befitting the World Heritage classification of the site. Certainly there was no trace of the ornamental garden planted there for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition.

 

Cue World Heritage, World Futures: a major project that began in October 2009. Funding for this project was provided form the Victorian Property Fund on the approval of the Minister for Consumer Affairs.

The project's three phases: excavation of the site to recover artefacts from the original 1880s garden, installation of an enormous rainwater storage tank, and restoration of the heritage garden and circular drive - are almost complete. 

Landscapers have installed the watering system and are now preparing the ground for planting. Within the next month the project will be finished and a beautiful water-wise garden will return to Rathdowne Street.

Watering system laid out at REB This extensive watering system will use the water from the new rainwater storage tank to ensure the garden stay lush and green sustainably.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

So keep an eye on the final flurry of activity behind those purple hoardings this month; the World Heritage, World Futures blog contains posts on the project's progress from the very beginning if you'd like to know more.

Hoardings around the REB Hoardings around the project building site with a glimpse of the restored circular driveway.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Links:

Royal Exhibition Building

World Heritage, World Futures

Time-lapse at the REB

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
23 November 2010
Comments
Comments (1)

After months of work to excavate artefacts, dig an enormous hole, pour a rainwater tank that will hold over a million litres of water and cover it up again, the very last stage of the World Heritage, World Futures project is underway. We've been recording time-lapse footage for most of the project. This video shows work on the donut-shaped driveway on two days in November.

The workers and machinery look tinier than usual with of a bit of tweaking to create a tilt-shift effect. It's a simple trick that changes which area looks sharp and which area looks blurry, and suddenly it looks like a miniature world.

I can't wait to see that area planted out! It's been covered by asphalt car park for decades, then hidden behind purple construction hoardings more recently. 

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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