Massive new building plans for RHS Wisley
The entrance at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley garden in Surrey is to be transformed from “an arrival space where people meet, that they may as well be standing outside a service station on the A3” to a 175m avenue of flowering cherries with a “dune landscape” of clipped beech mounds and a swale with bridges.
Designer Christopher Bradley-Hole said the current entrance “gives you nothing” but a £50m plan to build a new entrance/shop and science/education building will transform the garden.
Bradley-Hole said the flowering “coups de theatre” cherry walk would be like Kyoto in Japan. He likened the avenue to the streets of Chelsea in London. There will also be a ‘village square’ next to the new welcome building/shop designed by architects Carmody Groake, which he likened to St Emilion in France and a terrace in front of the historic laboratory building would have a college atmosphere.
At the Hilltop end of Wisley, Wilkinson Eyre are designing a new science and learning centre with a restaurant. Bradley-Hole is designing three gardens around it, based on health and well-being, world kitchen and a nature reserve.
See also Get Surrey’s coverage of the announcement here
More details to be added as become available…
Sub-Editor’s Note: Helen Jefferies made mention of this in her talk at the EFFRA AGM meeting. From recollection these improvements go hand-in-hand with a forecast massive increase in visitors and coaches, which does make you wonder whether this will run into the same Highways England concerns that they voiced over Wisley Airfield. We shall see…