Mott MacDonald has been appointed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) as multidisciplinary consultants to manage and deliver the Kew Capital Development Programme. The five-year programme will conserve and enhance facilities at the UNESCO World Heritage sites at Kew Gardens in west London and Wakehurst in Sussex.
First opened in 1759, the botanical gardens welcome millions of visitors each year and are 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. Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world, including 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.
As programme managers, Mott MacDonald will lead a multidisciplinary team responsible for a wide scope of works including new buildings, major refurbishments and historic conservation, as well as technical support across the site-wide infrastructure. The consultancy will also provide building, structural and civil engineering, project management and cost consultancy services. Mott MacDonald has appointed a number of architects to assist with the architecture and design direction of the projects, some of which are now well underway.
The programme team delivering the projects also includes a range of specialists who will provide town planning, surveying and heritage and landscape architecture services on the numerous individual projects. These include the refurbishment of iconic buildings such as Kew’s Victorian Palm House, designing and building new nurseries and catering facilities, critical infrastructure projects at both sites and transformational work at Wakehurst.
Mott MacDonald’s project director Rob Hilton said: “This programme brings together a diverse team of market-leading specialists from the fields of heritage, landscape, architecture, engineering and construction. The unique environments involved and the ambitious, transformational projects will make this a thoroughly rewarding programme that heightens the way people experience these iconic gardens and will support RBG Kew in delivering their vision well into the future.”