RHS Wisley - Designer setting for The Glasshouse at RHS Wisley
Award-winning designer Tom Stuart-Smith has
been commissioned to create an impressive landscape setting for
The Glasshouse at RHS Wisley.
The Glasshouse – developed in celebration of the RHS Bicentenary - will provide a showcase of horticultural excellence from around the world, as a working glasshouse with innovative learning at the heart. The new external landscape scheme has been selected to enhance the horticultural experience.
Jill Cherry, RHS Director of Estates and Gardens explains:
“The vision for the spectacular new Wisley Glasshouse is to educate, inspire and delight. While RHS Garden Wisley provides a stunning backdrop in itself, we invited in design expertise to deliver an exciting garden experience that integrates the structure with its immediate surroundings.
We chose Tom Stuart Smith specifically for two main reasons. First, he is known for the creative use of plants in his garden designs and is a well-respected plantsman as well as garden designer. For the RHS, as the UK’s leading gardening charity, this quality is of primary importance. Secondly he combines this sensitive empathy with plants with a strong use of form in his crafting of the spatial qualities of garden sites.
Through Tom’s landscape design and The Glasshouse itself, a large section of RHS Garden Wisley has been given a dramatic design and makeover, plus we’ve opened an extra part of the site for visitors to enjoy. By enhancing the visual spectacle of The Glasshouse as a fabulous showcase of innovative learning, we hope to ensure that thousands more visitors enjoy the delights of Wisley.”
The new external landscape for The Glasshouse creates an adjacent garden that complements the new structure, while providing a dramatic new feature garden at Wisley in its own right. The design was selected for its seamless link between The Glasshouse to the surrounding Rock, Wild and Fruit Gardens.
Tom Stuart Smith comments “My landscape setting for The Glasshouse at RHS Wisley aims to make an impressive, coherent setting for the stunning new building to create the context for its dramatic horticultural display. I’m excited to be a part of this multi-million pound project and to work with such a diverse team of construction, horticultural and education experts.”
The planting scheme of the landscape outside The Glasshouse is designed to reflect the dramatic horticultural spectacle inside and throughout the rest of the RHS Garden Wisley.
Tom continues, “The geometry of the garden for the Glasshouse has the character of a musical fugue. One idea begins and then overlaps with another. The pattern emanates from the main entrance to the east of the glasshouse developing into curving and intersecting paths, planting beds, low beech hedges, and lawns to create a series of interlocking sickle shapes.”
The scheme is designed as a large amphitheatre, centred on The Glasshouse and lake reservoir. It includes a glass-fronted café overlooking the lake and draws together a number of important circulation routes in a delicate network of pathways. The Glasshouse garden is bounded by a beech hedge that is irregularly punctuated by openings, connecting the garden to other parts of Wisley.
The Glasshouse opens to the public on 15 June 2007.