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After a competition winning entry, with Niall McLaughlin and Kim Wilkie, work on the first phase of the Natural History Museum Grounds Redevelopment Project is almost complete. These works create ramp access to the main entrance and see the beginning of the landscaping upgrades.
Following phases create a new entrance from the South Kensington subway into a courtyard, providing access to a restaurant and museum shop. At street level a new civic square will be formed connected to Cromwell Road and Exhibition Road. The landscaping to the eastern and western grounds is to be extensively re-modelled. We have developed simple, elegant engineering solutions to level changes and designing of interfaces.
As one of the country’s leading visitor attractions and a Grade I listed building, phasing of the works and construction methodologies are key considerations. The team have therefore set out the location of the new works to limit disruption to the existing listed fabric and trees. To do this we undertook a review of archive information and prepared briefs for investigative site works. Where intervention is required, works have been detailed so that the existing condition can be reinstated wherever possible.
An ecological garden will be created around a system of ponds and planted terraces at the western end. The ponds form part of an ambitious sustainable drainage and water reuse system, integrating flood risk management, water clean-up, biodiversity and landscape design.
Architect: Niall McLaughlin
Landscape Architect: Kim Wilkie
Renders and on site photographs courtesy of Niall McLaughlin