Museum of the Garden
The Museum of the Garden is located on the edge of a
well-established small woodland area.
The Museum is set underground with a long glazed elevation opening onto the adjacent woodland. This forms a “wedge” as the Museum is not set parallel to the natural contours of the site. The roof of the Museum is grassed and is inhabited by the estate deer herd. This ensures that the Museum has as low a visual impact as possible as one approaches it.
The experience of approaching the Museum is dramatic. The woodland floor descends from the Museum forming a dell at a lower level. This topography provides the setting for a tree-top walkway. The walkway, called “The Viper”, is set at the ground level of the Museum. The visitor approaches it at the northern end of the Museum and walks through the tree canopies towards the Museum entrance. As one winds through the trees, immersed in the flora and fauna of the woodland, views of the Museum are glimpsed through the leaves and
branches at canopy level.
On arrival at the Museum entrance the walkway splays out to form a terrace and the Museum reveals itself. Full height glazing to the front elevation is minimal and elegant. During the day-time the woodland is reflected in the glazing. 5m high glazed sliding doors open to present
the visitor reception and cafe.
The drama of arrival at the Museum is set up by the juxtaposition of a civic public space which is located in a secluded woodland setting.
The permanent exhibition at the Museum offers the opportunity to engage in a deeper exploration of the central theme of the estate, the garden. The exhibition considers the history of gardening from biblical Eden through to today’s popular consumer culture of gardening. It explores the microscopic world of botany and showcases the technology of gardening and the tools and techniques that have been developed through
centuries to the present day.
All the while, whilst enjoying the exhibition and the Museum, the visitor can look back outside through the glazed elevation to the woodland right outside.
Building is complete. Exhibition currently being installed. Opens summer 2019.