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February 21, 2018

Latest:

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2018 highlights announced -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mayor of London and L&Q to invest £500m in Barking Riverside -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Innovative new equipment from Sutcliffe Play -

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam to focus on separate ventures -

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Masterplanners appointed for Stonedale regeneration plan -

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Collectors Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival -

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Kubota UK launches new B Series compact tractors -

Monday, February 19, 2018

Registration opens for The Chelsea Fringe 2018 -

Monday, February 19, 2018

New directors appointed as Glendale announces restructure -

Monday, February 19, 2018

Alan Titchmarsh teams up with Beth Chatto Educational Trust for charity fundraiser -

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cheltenham High Street improvements begin this summer -

Saturday, February 17, 2018

LDA Design to deliver a Big Town Plan for Shrewsbury -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mayor’s £6m fund to boost green spaces & reduce plastic waste -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Get your hands dirty with an RHS apprenticeship -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Kubota UK launches new zero turn ride-on mower -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Piet Oudolf at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

RAF100 Centenary Garden seeks sponsors -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Show of resilience from invasives experts at industry conference -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating business success: The Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017 -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Palmstead Nurseries launches new staff training academy -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Kew’s magnificent Temperate House to re-open in three months’ time

Kew

A lengthy and complex construction project, which has seen one of Kew’s, and indeed London’s, most iconic buildings closed to the public since 2013, is coming to an end. The last of the scaffolding has been removed, the final paintwork is being carried out, and the removal of hoardings draws near.

As these works progress, a brand new Temperate House is slowly emerging. Retaining its Victorian splendour yet embodying cutting-edge engineering, the Temperate House is on its final journey to reclaim its place as the world’s greatest glasshouse. The true jewel in Kew’s crown, it will be a sanctuary for some of the rarest and most threatened plants from temperate regions across the globe.

Made possible with support of over £15m from the National Lottery, this restoration project has been unlike anything Kew has ever undertaken. Originally designed by world-famous architect Decimus Burton, heritage architects Donald Insall have updated and modernised key features to enable it to function as a contemporary working space. Over 69,000 individual elements were removed from the building and cleaned, repaired or replaced. This included the replacement of a staggering 15,000 panes of glass, and the restoration of 116 urns which had to be carefully lifted by crane off the building.

Twice as big as Kew’s Palm House, the Temperate House was encased within a tent-like structure, large enough to cover three Boeing 747s, in order to carry out the painstaking work in all weather. Approximately 180km of scaffolding was needed for the restoration of this 20m-high structure, about the length of the M25.

5,28L of paint was required, which painted a total area of 14,080m. Over 13 different layers of paint were found in the oldest parts of the building, revealing a variety of different colours, ranging from cream to pale blue and peppermint green. The new paint system utilises four different coats, specially designed to protect the metal work from corrosion, a robust process that is often used on oil rigs.

As to be expected when restoring a Victorian building of great historical importance, the team were met with some surprises, perhaps the most fascinating of which was the discovery of original underfloor heating pipes, installed by Decimus Burton 158 years ago, which have been safe-guarded and remain protected underneath the flooring.

The final phase will see a series of spectacular water features installed throughout the building, the pathways completed, and, perhaps the most intricate job of all, the cleaning of the windows that make up the entirety of this enormous 4,880m² structure.

Andrew Williams, director of estates and capital development at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, says: “Five years ago, we erected hoardings around one of the world’s most important buildings, which was in a state of disrepair. We looked ahead expectantly to an incredibly exciting challenge and journey of discovery, to completely refurbish almost every element of this magnificent structure and return it to its rightful place as the greatest glasshouse in the world.

“I am extremely proud to now be within touching distance of the opening date on 5 May. Thanks to a fantastic team and some incredible partners, including National Lottery players, we have not merely restored the Temperate House to its former glory, but have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure it has been done to the highest possible standards, befitting a building that both contains our heritage and embodies our future, enabling us to teach generations to come about the vital importance of plants to all life.”

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