The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Ryder Architecture are part of Mott MacDonald’s multi-disciplinary team of experts, engaged under a five year framework to regenerate the built estate at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. 

Mott MacDonald’s multidisciplinary team have appointed international design practice, Ryder Architecture to prepare the redevelopment plans of both Kew Gardens in west London, and Wakehurst in Sussex.  The Kew Capital Development Programme will conserve and enhance facilities at the UNESCO World Heritage site. 

First opened in 1759, the botanic gardens entertain over 1.5 million visitors each year as well as being a centre for world leading botanical studies and education.  The sites comprise numerous Grade I and II listed buildings in a Grade I listed landscape, while RBG Kew’s collections across the two sites include nearly 180,000 living plants, over two billion wild plant seeds at the Millennium Seed Bank, and historic library collections that include records made by Captain James Cooke’s botanist and extracts from Charles Darwin’s diary.

Ryder leads the architecture and design direction on some of the projects, the first stage of which is currently underway.  The five year programme includes repairs and infrastructure improvements alongside replacement buildings and restoration of listed buildings.  

Design work has commenced on two new facilities.  These will replace existing outdated facilities in two locations across Kew Gardens.  As part of the proposals Ryder are also preparing designs in support of Kew’s vision to expand their learning and development programme.

Ryder have developed designs for replacement glasshouses providing cutting edge facilities for the arboretum and are also leading on some of the repair and restoration programmes. Graham construction have recently been appointed as the major works contractor and will be focussing on the delivery of these buildings with Mott MacDonald, Ryder and the wider team.  

Andrew Costa, partner based in Ryder’s London office said, “We are delighted to be involved in this project.  Our focus is to understand Kew’s aspirations and confidently deliver the most beautiful, context sensitive, engaging and stimulating solutions possible.”

The programme is due for completion in 2021.


Ryder Architecture – Lead design and architecture

Mott Macdonald – Engineering disciplines, PM and PQS

LUC – Landscape Architect and Planning consultancy

Donald Insall – Heritage consultancy

Graham Construction – Delivery and construction partner