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The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art enables the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to make its unique and extensive collection of botanical art and artefacts widely accessible to the public. Its location, adjacent to the existing Marianne North Gallery, creates an art hub within the rich and varied parkland of the Gardens.

Walters & Cohen worked closely with our client and a highly accomplished team to create a small, bespoke gallery able to accommodate an extensive programme of temporary art exhibitions. The design sought to combine the needs of the collection and those of Kew’s visitors. In response, we maximised the gallery’s internal space by creating a ‘box within a box’ configuration, which capitalises on views across the beautiful surroundings while maintaining a controlled internal environment to protect the fragile artworks.

The aim from the outset was to minimise the impact of the gallery on the existing landscape and to respect the 19th century Marianne North Gallery whilst enhancing the visitor’s experience of this beautiful part of the gardens. The scale and proportion of the gallery are driven by the architectural language of the adjacent building, and this precisely detailed gem makes a valuable contribution to the important architectural heritage at Kew Gardens. In 2010, the Gallery won a Civic Trust Award.

Client Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Total value £2.5m
Completion February 2008
Area 550 m2
QS Fanshawe
Contractor Total Construction
Structure Michael Barclay Partnership
Building Services Atelier Ten
Landscape Chris Blandford Associates
Lighting Speirs and Major
Presentation model Bullfrog Models

Culture and Community


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