Botanical Gardens Conservatory, Adelaide, SA

The $6.2m bicentennial project designed by Raffen Maron Architects houses a tropical rainforest in its natural climactic environment. It consists of a three-dimensional steel frame - 100m long, 47m wide and 27m high - supported on a dish-shaped raft foundation approximately two metres deep at the centre, to accommodate soil for tropical plants.

The erection of all 28 trusses, which carried 2092 glass panes and mechanical systems such as hydraulic spray pipes and hoisting apparatus to provide maintenance access, was achieved without a single breakage.

Within the structure, suspended walkways and viewing platforms allow visitors to look down into a natural setting more reminiscent of a tropical island than a garden in the southern state. The completed building project was praised as a tribute to the site manager John Lamb.

The project won the Sir Zelman Cowan national award for Public Architecture.