Kew Gardens’ Orangery may soon be getting an expansion after the botanical garden submitted applications to Richmond Council for permission to extend The Orangery terrace. Plans also include the creation of a new garden dedicated to explaining the role of carbon in nature.
The Orangery at Kew was originally designed as a hothouse for exotic fruits over the winter but its size meant it wasn’t entirely fit for purpose and was used for plants too large for other glasshouses. It was transformed into a museum of timber in the 1860s, becoming a tea room in 1989 and eventually transformed into the Orangery restaurant as we know it today.
The planning proposal details that the lawn adjacent to the terrace of The Orangery would be converted into a gravelled area with seating and small trees in planters. The planning application says “During the hot summer months, demand for external seating dramatically exceeds the capacity on the existing terrace and this is having a detrimental effect on the Great Lawn. As well as causing significant wear and tear to the lawn which is detracting from the quality of the landscaped space visitors are currently moving tables and chairs and informally sitting all over the Great Lawn. ”
The proposed extension is a modest one and will seem to only affect the current external terrace of the Orangery. An area of 320 square meters on the adjacent lawn will be used for the extension. The proposal claims that going forward with the expansion would cause less harm to the lawn rather than letting issues continue as they have been. As The Orangery is Grace I listed, listed building consent would be needed for the extension to be done.
Kew Gardens submitted a further application for the creation of a new carbon cycle garden where the current Secluded Garden stands. This new garden would highlight the part of carbon in nature and inform guests about what can be done to reduce carbon emissions. A new pavilion structure made of sustainable materials would be built along with the associated re-landscaping to take over the existing garden which the planning application has said is in need of a revamp as it doesn’t attract much attention or interest from guests.
The application adds: “The proposed Pavilion will draw visitors into the Carbon Garden, to provide an immersive experience and to educate visitors about fundamental earth systems that regulate our climate, including the Carbon Cycle.”