Temperate House Precinct Project

  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner
  • © Gareth Gardner

Application Type

AABC Conservation

Level of Award

Commendation

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Richmond upon Thames

Information about this scheme

The Grade I-listed Temperate House and the scientifically important living collections it houses form one of the three most visited attractions in the RBG Kew World Heritage Site. The Temperate House was in poor condition by 2012, with major restoration to the fabric and building services required to secure the future of the building.  The five-year Temperate House Precinct Project focused on the restoration of an iconic and historic architectural gem as well as the Grade II-listed Evolution House and the surrounding landscape. At 4,880 square metres and extending to 19 metres in height, the Temperate House is the world's largest surviving Victorian glass structure, comprising of five pavilions. The Temperate House was last renovated in the 1970s and was in need of a comprehensive restoration, reinvigoration of visitor interpretation and improved access. The building houses historic living plant collections including a number of plants of exceptional size and heritage value which were not relocated as part of the works.

The project began with a Conservation Management Plan with the focus of the repair programme informed through detailed surveys and condition reports. The intention was for final structure to match the visual appearance of the House since c.1970 where possible with minimal intervention to improve the long-term viability. To achieve this, the existing aluminium glazing bar system was reused throughout. Refurbishment of the glazing system was limited to dismantling and cleaning the aluminium and replacing the existing silicon based glazing seals. The onset of corrosion to the metal structure was prevalent throughout and required individual repair strategies at each instance. Cast iron gutter sections leaked at every joint throughout the building and during the construction period it was found that consequentially the masonry walls below exceeded 80% moisture readings. A new five coat paint system was applied, following garnet blasting and Ultra High-Pressure cleaning. The landscape design had to enhance the Temperate House precinct, improve its highly significant terrace setting designed as part of collaboration between Sir William Hooker, William Nesfield and Decimus Burton and integrate new accessibility for all visitors.  The landscape improvements to this area were an essential part of the Temperate House restoration which aimed to increase the visitors to the Temperate House and to raise the profile of RBG Kew's largest public building by engaging with new audiences.

Credits

Client

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Conservation Architect

Donald Insall Associates

Structural Engineer

Ramboll UK

Main Contractor

ISg

Services Engineer

Hoare Lea

Other

International Paint

Landscape Architect

Land Use Consultants

Project Manager

Turner + Townsend

Cost Consultant

Turner + Townsend

Primary Use Class

Sui Generis - Other Use Class not listed above