New Pavilion Restaurant At Kew

New Pavilion Bar and Grill restaurant opens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Designed by Ryder Architecture, the new restaurant is part of a five year estate strategy to regenerate buildings within the world famous gardens.  

Ryder’s work sets out to enhance the visitor experience to the gardens while also improving functional back of house buildings, office accommodation and infrastructure, along with plans for a second restaurant adjacent to the newly opened children’s garden, an already constructed cutting edge arboretum glasshouse and plans to refurbish the iconic Grade I listed Palm House.

The Pavilion Bar and Grill opened its doors this May following a complete rebuild to replace the old Pavilion Restaurant on the same site. The new restaurant has been designed to maximise views across the gardens, particularly to the Great Pagoda and recently refurbished Temperate House, and will offer dining for visitors all year round supporting Kew’s other attractions.

Surrounded by mature vines and trees, the building blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors with a simple palette of materials which continue throughout the interiors.  Ryder worked closely alongside the client from the outset to truly embody Kew’s vision to create an alfresco dining experience which promotes the importance of plants as food.  The layout maximises the sight lines out into the landscape, while the open kitchen provides visitors with a live theatre cooking experience as food is prepared.

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The black steel finish, rational grid and glass facade has taken influence from Japanese and Chinese architecture responding to the Pavilion’s location close to the Japanese Gateway Garden and the Great Pagoda.  Ryder worked closely with contractor, John Graham Construction, to realise the design intent while managing the logistics of building in an UNESCO World Heritage site which included retaining existing vines throughout construction.   

Andrew Costa, partner based in Ryder’s London office said, “We wanted to handle the challenge of designing within a UNESCO World Heritage site with sensitivity yet conviction.  The bold use of black steel within the finely proportioned structure evokes Japanese and Chinese bamboo, whilst the simple glass façade almost reflects the surrounding landscape with sliding doors that extend the internal dining space to the outside.”

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Ryder and Mott MacDonald formed their multidisciplinary team in 2016 for the redevelopment plans at both Kew Gardens in west London, and Wakehurst Sussex, as well as preparing designs in support of Kew’s vision to expand their learning and development programme.  The Kew Capital Development Programme will conserve and enhance facilities at the UNESCO World Heritage site. 

The full programme is due for completion in 2021.