The Great Pagoda, Kew Gardens
Austin-Smith:Lord was appointed to undertake the design and sensitive execution of fabric repairs to the iconic, Grade I Listed Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens, London.
The conservation team worked closely with the Historic Royal Palaces team to prepare proposals that are in keeping with this significant listed structure dating from 1761.
The Great Pagoda was designed by Sir William Chambers for Princess Augusta. Chambers was her architect and tutor to her young son George who would later become King George III.
Chambers created a series of architectural structures from around the world to create one of the most fashionable estates in England if not Europe at the time.
Only the Pagoda and Orangery survive to this day but other structures namely the Mosque, Alahambra and House of Confucius which were made of more ephemeral materials have been lost.
A major element of this important conservation work was to return the iconic building back to its original splendour and to rediscover or replace the eighty timber dragons which have become synonymous with the Pagoda.
The restored Pagoda reopened to the general public in July 2018 and will no doubt be extremely popular with visitors from all over the world.
See Austin-Smith:Lord’s Director and Head of Conservation David Millar talk about the project in more detail in these short videos:
Image credit (completed project): Robin Forster Photography
It has been fascinating to piece together the story of the elusive dragons, missing from this remarkable building for over two centuries. Using tantalising contemporary accounts and drawings, and taking inspiration from surviving eighteenth century dragons in houses and museums across Europe, we’ll be pulling together a team of specialist craftsmen to ensure the new dragons are as faithful to the original design as possible.
Craig Hatto – Project Manager, Historic Royal Palaces
CLIENT: HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES
SERVICE: CONSERVATION, ARCHITECTURE
SECTOR: ARTS & CULTURE
CONTRACTOR: BLUE SKY BUILDING
LANDSCAPE: AUSTIN-SMITH: LORD
STRUCTURES: HOCKLEY & DAWSON
SERVICES: CHAPMAN & BDSP
COST CONSULTANT: MORHAM & BROTCHIE LTD
2018 RICHMOND SOCIETY AWARD