I read your article titled: 'Sydney Botanic Gardens: Demolition of the great glass pyramid'. Its content shocked and appalled me. Little did I know that the demolition process was fait accompli that very day. So much for taking a month as it would be a slow and delicate process!
Mr Turner's blatant hypocrisy in your article compared with statements from the RBG Executive about the future of 'The Pyramid' about time last year is of great concern to me.
The points of interest you raised regarding the demolition of 'the iconic glass pyramid in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens' were:
Relocating the 17- metre high pyramid within the gardens was ruled out. The dismantling is expected to be a slow and delicate process that could take a month: Why was the glass pyramid not maintained and serviced as befits any other public building?
It will clear the path for the development of the exhibition centre, which has been dubbed "a living art gallery and a theatrical experience": Why not 'The Biome' as originally planned?
It is unlikely to technically function as a 'biome', as it was so-called when funding was announced for funding the development in 2013. Why was I/we told that it would be called 'The Biome Stage 1'?
The centre does not have an official name yet but is using the working title of the 'Horticulture Exhibition Centre' - but what happened to the project name 'The Biome'?
Director of Horticultural Operations Jimmy Turner said the centre will forge fresh links between the gardens and the city, residents and tourists: Maybe, maybe not!?
"Both the centre and the exhibitions will attract people who haven't had a good reason to visit before, engage them in a way they wouldn't expect, and challenge and change their views on plants, the environment, people and life," he said: Maybe/maybe not?
I trust Messrs Ellis and Turner have projected revenue and costings to justify this expenditure.
Last July I received the following advice from Mr Kim Ellis (Executive director SP&BG):
the Biome [is] to provide a diverse, stimulating and enjoyable horticultural display experience for new and repeat visitors to the Gardens and to educate people about the diversity, beauty and use of plants in line with the Garden’s Strategic Plan: the Strategic plan needs an urgent review to better reflect the role of a diverse range of plants or otherwise why do you need to spend this amount of money? For a function centre perhaps?
The new structure is at a minimum to have an architectural significance equivalent to or greater than that of the Pyramid it is replacing: is the replacement to a monument to a person or a a structure to provide a diversity of growing environments for plants. It is worth remembering that humanity depends upon plants and not the other way round!
To me the SP&BG management team are spinning the story to meet the directives of 'the powers that be' without consideration of the botanical thrust required in the operation of Australia's oldest scientific institution.
I think the project is a folly and lacks a common sense approach to the needs of the RBG Sydney.
I ask you to please review the circumstances surrounding the the demolition of the Pyramid Glasshouse and bring the planning strategy out into the light.
With my best regards,
Address: 3 Ferguson Road Springwood, NSW 2777