The Grade I-listed building, opened in 1862, is the largest remaining Victorian Glasshouse in the world.
The expert glasshouse team has spent the last year preparing and moving large mature plants, as well as creating a collection of newly propagated plants. These are now temporarily housed in glasshouses ‘behind the scenes’, to be grown, ready to form a rejuvenated collection for planting into the restored Temperate House. Construction works are due to complete in spring 2017, then follows a year of replanting work, with plans for a formal re-opening in May 2018.
The Temperate House was designed by architect Decimus Burton. It showcases several examples of Victorian metalwork, including decorative trusses, iron capped pilasters, and spiral stairs.
As part of the £36m restoration, the central space will be opened out to provide an area for displays and events. A new biomass boiler and radiators will provide a more efficient heating system, reducing CO2 emissions by 25%.
The original pathways were simply clinker but were replaced by utility paving in the 1970s. In this restoration the paths will be re-paved with more attractive and stronger paving and grid panels, enabling easier maintenance of plants and the heating systems running below.
Stuart Deverill, ISG’s Southern regional managing director, said: “The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has a global reputation for plant research and conservation and to play a role in supporting that important work through this refurbishment project is a real privilege. The Temperate House is the largest remaining Victorian glasshouse and we are delighted to be working to protect this stunning building, while creating an environment where plants, education and tourism can flourish.”
Turner & Townsend has been appointed to supply a turnkey project/cost management/CDMC and design service with a consultant team including: Ramboll as structural engineers and lead designer, Donald Insall Associates as architects, Hoare Lea (engineering services), Land Use Consultants (landscape and environmental), and Butler &Young.