Marianne North Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens
This purpose-built gallery was designed by James Fergusson in the 1880s to display the remarkable collection of botanical paintings by Marianne North, who travelled the world recording in fine detail its exotic plants. She gave 832 of her paintings to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as well as the Gallery in which to house them.
Over time, the lack of proper environmental control within the building resulted in the paintings being adversely affected. With HLF backing, the practice has recently undertaken a major refurbishment, including installing new building services such as optical-fibre lighting and a sophisticated system of environmental control. The original stencilled decoration to the upper level and the geometric floor tiling, lost in the 1930s, have been restored. Modern interpretive facilities have been provided; and the paintings have been re-hung on rails designed to permit natural air-flow behind. Disabled access has been improved, with a new lift and entrance from the driveway outside.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew