The Lily Pads
Submitted by: INSPIRING PLACE
The Lily Pads were commissioned as the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Bicentenary Project, and feature three overlapping platforms, which hover over the Lily Pond
The Whole Story
The project is located within Tasmania's most prestigious, most visited and well known garden, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The Lily Pads were commissioned as one of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden’s major Bicentenary Projects.
Located on the edge of the Garden’s heritage Lily Pond (one of Hobart’s earliest reservoirs), the project is comprised of three circular, overlapping platforms or ‘Lily Pads,’ which cascade over three levels to reach the surface level of the pond, with each platform diminishing in size as it nears the water.
Conceptually, the Lily Pads are a functional design grounded in the metaphor of the lily pad…floating above the water, rooted in the pond bottom.. they are a platform for the celebration of life, imminently functional, aesthetically beautiful, structurally sound.
It was a key requirement that the Lily Pads serve to complement, not overbear, the extraordinary landscape setting. As such, timber was selected as the main material for the project, due to its inherent natural appearance, and for its ability to demonstrate a high level of craftsmanship and precise detail that one would expect in such a significant setting.
The surface of the Lily Pads uses a sunburst decking pattern, which reinforces the circular form; black stone-set wedges intersect the decking pattern to reinforce the appearance of the Lily Pad. While the timber balustrades or ‘reeds’ line up perfectly with each timber decking plank; the face and surface of the timber seating ties in perfectly with the decking. This precision use of timber leads to an outcome that is highly considered, beautiful and restrained.
The Lily Pads have quickly become a special destination within the Gardens, and have created a range of new viewpoints to experience Tasmania’s most loved Garden. Beyond providing passive viewing opportunities, the Lily Pads can hold up to 50 people, and have hosted numerous weddings, concerts, charity events, and performances including ‘Shakespeare in the Gardens.’ It was recently opened by the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, along with Tasmania’s Governor Kate Warner.
Image credits: Matt Osborne and Alasdair Shurman