The world’s largest Victorian glasshouse has reopened following a £41M, five year rescue project.
Temperate House in Kew Gardens, London, was closed in 2012 and put on the Heritage at Risk register after severe corrosion threatened its structural integrity.
The restoration project involved installing scaffolding around the structure to allow repairs to the steel frame to take place on site. A total of 69,151 components were removed from the glasshouse and taken offsite to be repaired.
“The structure presented some unique and interesting engineering and conservation challenges. There was considerable corrosion and decay in the extensive wrought iron, cast-iron and steelwork comprising the structural frame,” said Ramboll project lead Mike Mittendorfer.
“We are proud to see our innovative approach help return this very unique structure to its former glory and celebrate its vital role in preserving some of the world’s most important natural heritage.”
Temperate House opened to the public in 1899 and became Kew Gardens’ biggest attraction. Made up of a north, a south and a central glasshouse, the structure is 191m long and up to 18m tall.