Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Right on Kew at world-famous Gardens

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Project Overview

Client Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Kew Gardens)
Project Value £50m programme value
Expertise Building
Sector Heritage
Timeline July 2017 - June 2019
Location England - South and Midlands
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Project summary

Illustrating our sensitive approach to working within a live heritage environment, we are the Programme Contracting Partner for the major capital development programme at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The UNESCO World Heritage site, which attracts over two million visitors per year, is famous for its gardens, water features, botanical glasshouses and Grade I and II listed buildings of architectural and historic significance. Across the 121ha estate, we have embarked upon a complex programme of works with a value of £5m and £10m per annum.

The detail

As the single contractor, we undertake the refurbishment of historic buildings, fabric and structural repairs, heritage specialisms, repair and replacement of M&E systems and the replacement of nursery and external works. We are also responsible for projects at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex – a 500-acre site that is home to the world’s largest wild seed conservation scheme.

Examples of our work at Kew include:

Arboretum Nursery (£4.8m – 48 weeks): This project involved the construction of a new 1,241m2 state-of-the-art facility. It is now one of the most technically advanced glasshouses in the UK.

Evolution House (£820k – 22 weeks): A refurbishment scheme comprising of the removal of the existing internal slab, the formation of an internal plant room and the installation of a new heating system via a perimeter of cast iron radiators.

Pavilion Restaurant (£4.7m – 58 weeks): Housing 100-year-old vines and a unique horse chestnut tree, the first of its kind planted in the UK, we constructed the new steel framed Pavilion Restaurant which boasts a 400-cover capacity. It opened in May 2019. Its striking appearance is capped by a floating roof over a glass façade on all elevations. The catering kitchen is also visually encased within an aged brass clad feature wall.

Project Gallery

"I have worked on many capital projects during my 40 years at Kew, but this has been the easiest, most enjoyable and most satisfying of them all. It has been a pleasure to work with the Construction Manager and all the GRAHAM team, who have respected me as the client and ensured that what has been built has been to the highest standard and will serve the needs of Kew and the Arboretum,"

Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services at RBG Kew.