The Times Newspaper, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
Times Eureka Pavilion
Undertaken in collaboration with Landscape Designer Marcus Barnett, the project was commissioned by the Times Newspaper in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Plant species chosen for the Eureka Garden reflected their benefits to society including medicinal, commercial and industrial uses underlining the fact we could not survive without them. The pavilion design brief was to reflect the same theme.
We extended the design concepts of the garden by looking closely at the cellular structure of plants and their processes of growth to inform the design’s development. The final structure was designed using computer algorithms that mimic natural growth and is intended to allow visitors to experience the patterns of biological structure at an unfamiliar scale.
The design development of the pavilion focused on the ‘bio-mimicry’ of leaf cellular structures being embedded in the walls. Primary timber capillaries form the basic shape and supporting structure of the pavilion, inset with secondary timber cassettes that in turn hold bioplastic infill cladding.
Undertaken in collaboration with Landscape Designer Marcus Barnett, the project was commissioned by the Times Newspaper in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Inspired by the cellular structure of plants and their processes of growth, this pavilion encompassed the unique patterns they embody.
The walls and roof are clad with recycled plastic ‘cells’ that frame views out to the garden. Rain water literally runs down the capillaries in the walls of the cube from the roof into the ground. The pavilion sits on a timber raft constructed from spruce beams. Sand ballast fills the voids between the raft timbers to give the pavilion a temporary foundation.
Following completion of the 3D modelling of the structure, specialist timber fabricators undertook digital manufacturing of the structure using sustainably sourced spruce wood.
The pavilion and garden were created for the Chelsea Flower Show 2011 and subsequently relocated to Kew Gardens for the summer autumn seasons. It was estimated that the garden was visited by almost 1 million people during its residency. At the end of its public use, the timber was recycled into mulch for planting beds at Kew.
James Harding, Editor, The Times, London
- Times Eureka Pavilion
- The Times Newspaper, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
- June 2011
- London, UK
- CulturePublic Realm
- Public RealmArchitectureSustainability
- Alan DempseyPaul Loh
- Marcus Peel
- Marcus Barnett - Garden Design Buro Happold - Structural Engineering