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Davies Alpine House, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

This stunning glass building provides a gateway and focal point for Kew’s Rock Gardens and houses their world famous Alpine Collection.
The shape and form of the new Alpine House is designed to achieve the environmental conditions required by alpine plants by means of passive rather than artificial means. High light levels, cool conditions, constant air movement and ventilation are all achieved without relying on mechanical equipment. Despite sitting on a slope, the Alpine House is fully accessible for wheelchairs and provides a seamless transition from outside to inside, creating an exciting introduction to the Rock Garden.
Admired locally, the Alpine House is also a functional success, allowing new plants to be grown which did not thrive in their previous building. A beautiful and ground breaking glass house.
This new Alpine House at Kew provides a sustainable, energy-efficient growing environment for a world-renowned collection of alpine plants. It is comparable to the innovative, high-quality greenhouses traditional to Kew and, as the first new public access glasshouse to be commissioned for nearly 20 years, will raise the profile of the alpine collection and create a new focal point for this part of the site.
The glasshouse is conceived as two back-to-back arches which create a stack effect to draw warm air out of the building. Below ground level, air is pushed into a concrete labyrinth for cooling, and then recirculated around the perimeter of the house via a series of displacement pipes. Further environmental control is provided by a unique shading solution based on a fan-like form similar to a peacock’s tail.



Client: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Project Value: £1.16 million (Construction Cost)
Project Team: Wilkinson Eyre Architects (Architects)
Dewhurst MacFarlane and Partners (Structural Engineers)
Atelier Ten (Building Services Engineers)
Goyne Adams (Planning Supervisor)
Tuchschmid Constructa AG (Main Contractor for Alipne House Structure)
Kilby and Gayford (Main Contractor for Fit-Out)
Project Category(s): Special Projects, Public Buildings
Services Offered: Building Services / Cost Management, Quantity Surveying, Project Management
Completion: July 2005
Project Download: Download me! RBGK, Alpine House.pdf Download

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