Climbers and Creepers, Kew Gardens

Where the wild things are

The first project Walters & Cohen completed under the framework agreement for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was Climbers and Creepers, a fun, interactive education centre designed to teach children aged 3 to 9 about the relationship between plants and animals.

It is housed in the old Cycad House at Kew, which was originally built in the 1980s as a temporary glasshouse for plants during renovation work to the Palm House. As part of our renovation, the entire glass cladding was removed and the steel structure strengthened, then re-clad in a combination of solid polycarbonate clear panels and triple-wall polycarbonate panels.

Climbers and Creepers provides an assembly area, interactive educational facilities, and internal and external play areas for children. Toilet facilities, stores and a manager’s office form a ‘pod’ in the centre of the glasshouse. Located above these facilities is a mezzanine floor accessed via a stairway and platform lift. The interactive learning and play area to one side of the central pod was designed and installed under the supervision of At Large, a specialist exhibition design firm who see the centre as ‘a landscape of the imagination’.


ClientRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Total value£800,000

CompletionJul 2004

Area1,200 m2


ContractorTotal Construction

Structural engineerMichael Barclay Partnership

Building ServicesMax Fordham LLP

Exhibition designAt Large