Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Jodrell Laboratory

London, UK

The extension to the Jodrell Laboratory at Kew was designed to improve research facilities and provide sufficient space to bring together a number of related scientific specialisms.

The project acknowledges the framework of the Site Development Plan (prepared in 2002 by WilkinsonEyre) and meets Kew’s objectives of improving accessibility and the public’s awareness of science at the gardens.

The principal design strategy was to extend the existing laboratory to create a new three-sided courtyard space in conjunction with the School of Horticulture building to the south, giving a collegiate feel to the complex, now focused around the Aquatic Garden.

The extension provides 2,000m² of accommodation split between herbarium storage, a library, laboratories and office space. The redevelopment provides a new face to the laboratory, effectively turning the building around to establish a stronger relationship between the gardens and the scientific activity within.

The extension enabled the organisations Mycology Section to be consolidated with the molecular laboratories, providing extensive laboratory space for site-based and visiting researchers, and also improved storage for this important collection, facilitating better management.