View of the student entry to theTaronga Institute of Science and Learning from within Taronga Zoo.

Taronga Institute of Science and Learning, Student entry to the Institute from within the zoo. Photo courtesy Taronga Zoo.

Taronga Institute of Science and Learning

Focus Tour - Saturday 2 November 2019







2019 Learning Environments Australia Award for Excellence in Education Facility Design in the category of ‘New construction / new individual facility over $8 million’

2019 Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Award in the category of ‘Educational Architecture

The Taronga Institute of Science and Learning was developed by NBRSARCHITECTURE and Taronga using patterns in nature as inspiration. It signifies a change for zoos in delivering key activities in science and learning and is a well-established hub for conservation. The institute has state-of-the-art research laboratories and collaboration and immersive learning spaces.

Tour experience

Guests will experience an immersive tour that takes in all elements of this unique new space. They will see how design principles inspired by nature have been delivered to bring together zoologists, scientists, researchers and students in a collaborative environment. They will visit the new laboratories where cutting-edge conservation research is conducted, view all the learning and engagement spaces, and go inside one of the new habitat learning rooms where students enter immersive spaces that are home to many animal species.

Guests will see and hear about the elements that enabled this building to achieve its six-star green star rating. They will also visit animal enclosures, keeper areas and research facilities that make this building functional as well as inspiring.


Paul Maguire

Paul is the Director of Guest Experience and Community Conservation at Taronga Zoo. With 24 years of expeince in educational roles at the zoo, Paul formed part of the design team for the institute.

Andrew Duffin

Andrew is Director of Design at multi-disciplinary design practice NBRSARCHITECTURE. He is committed to achieving excellence and believes that architecture can positively transform people’s lives. Andrew has a depth of experience in the design and management of award-winning, complex projects including Sydney’s Railway Square and Macquarie University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Most recently Andrew led the design team of the AIA award-winning Taronga Institute of Science and Learning. Following extensive workshop meetings with key stakeholders, Andrew developed a branching arm concept that seamlessly weaves together Education, Science, and Visitor Experience Facilities. The environmentally sensitive solution is in synergy with Taronga’s sustainable ethos, holding a 6-star-green-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

  • Interior photograph of the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning hive, a collaborative working space.
  • Interior photograph of the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning labs, functional spaces used for research and to showcase STEM to students.
  • Interior photograph of students, and staff inside one of the habitat learning spaces at the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning with a quokka.

Key information

Session duration

45 mins


This tour has a capacity of 30 people per session.

Visitor requirements

Please arrive a minimum of 10 minutes before the start of your tour time.

Punctuality is important as once the tour has begun it cannot be joined.

to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Toilets available

  • Food & drink available

  • Pram friendly

  • Accessible