Kew Garden’s Tree Top Walkway, RBG London, Rhizotron, Photo, Architect, English Design
Kew Tree Top Walkway
Rhizotron London, England, UK – design by Marks Barfield Architects
26 Mar 2010
Kew tree top walkway & rhizotron
Design: Marks Barfield Architects
Kew Garden’s Tree Top Walkway opened on 24th May 2008 to over 9,000 visitors on its first day. The Walkway takes visitors 18m high into the tree canopy for a birdseye view of Kew. It provides insights into the special role of trees in our breathing planet and gives an intimate view of a deciduous woodland and its inhabitants from within the tranquillity of the leaves.
Assembled from 12 modular trusses, it is interconnected by 10 circular ‘node’ platforms to form a 200m loop through woodland originally designed by Capability Brown. A classroom-sized platform provides space for school groups of up to 35, and a bench to enable visitors to rest and enjoy longer views towards the Palm House. Design inspiration was drawn from the Fibonacci sequence found repeatedly in nature. Components were fabricated in Weathering Steel off site to minimise disruption within the sensitive environment.
The ‘Rhizotron’, entered through an apparent crack in the ground, will be the UK’s only walk-in viewing area illustrating the rich world of tree root biology.
Kew Tree Top Walkway : Further Information + images
Kew Garden’s Tree Top Walkway – Building Information
Client: Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
Project Value: £3.5m
Facts and figures:
– The Tree Top Walkway is 18m high and 200m long
– Foundations for the walkway are 12-18m deep concrete piles strategically located to avoid the tree roots
– Over 400 tonnes of weathering steel was used. 12 walkway trusses connect 10 ‘node’ platforms, incorporating interpretation points, which are spaced 15m apart.
– A classroom platform which can accommodate a school group of up to 35 for educational visits, overlooks the Temperate House and contains a bench to enable visitors to rest.
– The truss configuration is inspired by the Fibonacci sequence found in growth patterns in nature
– The Walkway can accommodate up to 3,000 visitors per day
– The Walkway takes visitors past sweet chestnut, lime and broad-leaved oak trees as well as one pine; 14 new trees are also being planted to enhance the experience.
– 2008 is Kew Gardens’ Year of the Tree
Civic Trust Award
Tekla Structures winner 2008
FX winner Leisure & Entertainment Venue 2008
ICE Merit Award
Text © Marks Barfield Architects 2009
Kew Garden’s Tree Top Walkway images / information received from B-G
Location:Kew Gardens, London, UK