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Cathedral Renovated Into Garden Museum
Situated within a beautiful old church, London’s Museum of Garden History recently underwent a stunning renovation that re-envisioned its interior as a fresh modern space. Designed by Dow Jones Architects, the sustainably-crafted renovation will provide more dedicated space for the museum’s permanent collection and allow for more flexible exhibitions and fabulous events.
The Garden Museum offers gardening enthusiasts a wealth of information on British gardening and garden design in addition to providing education and classes for both children and adults. Lectures and classes have a strong focus on sustainability and encourage individuals to get their hands in the dirt.
Located on the South side of the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliment, the Museum of Garden History was formerly St Mary-at-Lambeth parish Church. The discovery of the tomb of 17th century plant hunters the Tradescants, who were gardeners for Charles I, was the impetus for John and Rosemary Nicholson to save the church from demolition in 1977 and transform it into the a museum dedicated to gardening.
Since 1977, the Museum has used the interior space of the church to house a permanent collection focused on gardening implements, techniques, and design. The gardens on the grounds provide inspiration for visitors and showcase both traditional and wild garden design. The Museum, which is housed in a beautiful old church, never provided the necessary exhibition space for the collection, and in order to make the Museum more profitable and more enjoyable, they needed to remodel. Dow Jones Architects, won a competition to remodel the structure in October 2007, and the newly renovated museum opened in November 2008.
Their gorgeous design combines creative use of space, with sustainable materials. To provide the necessary flexible space for temporary exhibits, lectures, seminars and events (especially weddings), the collections are now housed in a belvedere within the existing building. The lower floor contains temporary exhibits, while the upper floor contains the permanent collection, thus freeing up most of the naive for event space.
The buildings new interior is made from Eurban, a prefabricated structural timber material that is sourced from sustainably managed forests. Eurban is made from farmed European timber, and this project will store 200 tonnes of CO2. It is both lightweight and very strong, and allowed the architects to create the exact forms necessary to build the structure. The prefabricated panels allowed the museum renovation to happen fairly quickly – the structure took only 3 weeks to build, while the whole renovation lasted 3 months. We love how the natural wood finish of the Eurban compliments the existing limestone walls of the church.
Via Arch Daily
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