Palm House at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Refurbishment and decarbonisation of Kew’s iconic Palm House to create a net zero carbon glasshouse
London, United Kingdom
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Donald Insall Architects
The Palm House project provides a full net zero carbon refurbishment of the Grade I listed Palm House and Grade II listed Waterlily House, both of which sit within a UNESCO World Heritage site. The project will support Kew’s Sustainability Strategy and their desire to become Climate Positive by 2030.
We have developed low energy solutions for heating, electrical and water systems to serve the glasshouses sustainably. These provide the foundations for networks which can be rolled out across the site to further decarbonise Kew’s estate. At the same time, we have carried out an in-depth assessment of glasshouse performance to create an appropriate benchmark and set challenging design targets for the buildings.
Robin Pritchett, Associate Director
It will take 2 years to carefully move the plants to their temporary home before restoration work can commence.
Ever noticed that the Palm House looks like the upturned hull of a ship? That’s because the architects borrowed techniques from the ship building industry as no one had ever built a glasshouse of this size before.
The Glasshouse features the oldest potted plant in the world: the Encephalartos altensteinii, installed in 1775
Cundall have worked closely with the client and wider design team to create a bespoke glasshouse design which is respectful of the building’s heritage, incorporates the latest low-carbon technologies and provides appropriate conditions for Kew’s irreplaceable collection of plants. The project will provide world-leading buildings that will act as exemplars for glasshouse refurbishments in a heritage setting.