RHS Garden Hyde Hall Hilltop Complex

  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

Eastern

Local Authority Area

Chelmsford

Information about this scheme

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden Hyde Hall has undergone a major transformation with the development of two new buildings.

What was once a working farmstead for the site is now a hub for enjoying and learning about how we can nurture our natural world, and a space to inspire the gardener in all of us, furthering the RHS vision to enrich everyone’s lives through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.

The garden at Hyde Hall has been steadily evolving over 25 years, but was lacking key facilities, namely a dedicated education facility, a multipurpose event space and a restaurant.

New buildings on the hilltop house these essential aspects of the visitor experience. They comprise: the Clore Learning Centre and the Hilltop Lodge, home to a new award-winning field to fork restaurant and new activity barn. Designed as a family of buildings which enclose and open up to the landscape so that it can be enjoyed in all seasons, it is a fitting location for the RHS to fulfil its long-term objective to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. As well as supporting the RHS’s expanding education programme by accommodating twice the capacity, from 5,000 to an expected 10,000 visiting school pupils per year, the new buildings create a landmark to draw visitors through the landscape, and a vantage point from which to enjoy the views.

The surrounding garden design skilfully blends the variety of distinct gardens skirting the hilltop with new buildings and horticulture. The seamless integration of buildings with their immediate landscape and heritage is fundamental to the success of this project.

The Hilltop Complex is positioned at the highest part of the site, adjacent to the Thatched Barn and hilltop garden and overlooking the new dry garden. Whilst being located at this elevated position, it nestles into the surrounding trees and is barely visible either from a distance or when approaching through the Australia and New Zealand Garden.

Credits

Other

Cullinan Studio (Concept Architect and Masterplanner)

Other

Concertus Design and Property Consultants (Lead Technical Architect / Landscape Architect)

Main Contractor

Brookes and Wood Ltd

Services Engineer

The Energy Practise

Planning Consultant

Boyer Planning

Project Manager

Dudley Smith Partnership

Other

Adam Frost Design (Garden Designer)

Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education