Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens

A little gem of an art gallery carefully sited between protected trees in Kew's beautiful gardens

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art enables the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to make its unique and extensive collection of botanical art and artefacts widely accessible to the public. Its location, adjacent to the existing Marianne North Gallery, creates an art hub within the rich and varied parkland of the gardens.

Walters & Cohen worked closely with our client and a highly accomplished team to create a small, bespoke gallery able to accommodate an extensive programme of temporary art exhibitions. The design sought to combine the needs of the collection and those of Kew’s visitors. In response, we maximised the gallery’s internal space by creating a ‘box within a box’ configuration, which capitalises on views across the beautiful surroundings while maintaining a controlled internal environment to protect the fragile artworks.

The aim from the outset was to minimise the impact of the gallery on the existing landscape and to respect the nineteenth-century Marianne North Gallery while enhancing the visitor’s experience of this beautiful part of the gardens. The scale and proportion of the gallery are driven by the architectural language of the adjacent building, and this precisely detailed gem makes a valuable contribution to the important architectural heritage at Kew Gardens. In 2010, the Gallery won a Civic Trust Award.


2010UK Property Awards – highly commended

2010Civic Trust Awards

2010RIBA Awards – shortlisted

2008RIBA Awards – shortlisted


ClientRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Total value£2.5m

CompletionFeb 2008

Area550 m2


ContractorTotal Construction

Structural engineerMichael Barclay Partnership

Building ServicesAtelier Ten

LandscapeChris Blandford Associates

LightingSpeirs and Major

Presentation modelBullfrog Models