Not only do these awards recognise and celebrate the skill, innovation and commitment of the nation’s best builders, they also set an evolving precedent for the professional and high-quality delivery of projects across the industry.

The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga wraps around its own private native wildlife sanctuary nestled within the zoo. Guests are treated to an immersive overnight conservation experience with close up wildlife encounters, guided tours and exclusive dining in the new restaurant with first class views of Sydney Harbour. This is the largest hotel in NSW to be constructed primarily from Cross Laminated Timber, which improved the program and provided environmental benefits in lieu of conventional structural systems. Every stay at the Wildlife Retreat contributes essential funding towards the care of Taronga’s animals and broader conservation and education programs in Australia and around the world, making it an extremely rewarding project to be a part of.

The entry of the Retreat sets the tone, welcoming you into an immersive experience, showcasing high quality features and tailored landscaping. This provides guests with a natural yet luxurious atmosphere to admire, one filled with character. The reception area is a distinctly furnished, standalone guest lodge constructed from blockwork, conventional FRP suspended slabs and a roof structure made out of Victorian Ash Glulam Beams integrated into a structural steel frame. Guests can enjoy a full-service bar, seamless check-in and an expansive external terrace that overlooks the wildlife sanctuary.

Overall, Taylor delivered 7 new buildings, the refurbishment of an existing function centre, and construction of several new animal exhibits and habitats including pools, ponds and aviaries. Key existing heritage items such as the stairs to the east of the restaurant building, a large fig tree, and a 100-year-old water fountain base were all mindfully integrated within the project.

This project is an exceptional accomplishment which we could not have achieved without the close collaboration and trust of our long-term partner, Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Additionally, the successful delivery of this iconic Sydney development could not have been achieved without the hard work, dedication and passion of our Taylor team, and our supportive subcontractors and consultants who came together to bring this special project to life. We wish to thank all of you.

Finally, Taylor would like to thank Master Builders Association of Australia for hosting this great industry event despite the challenges of 2020. It was a privilege to be recognised across the country in these distinguished industry awards and we look forward to being involved again next year.

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