One of the largest gardening projects in Europe at this time, RHS Garden Bridgewater's master plan is crucial to its success as the fifth garden in the RHS portfolio. Landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith has worked with Manchester-based award-winning architects Hodder and Partners to create the concepts for the new Welcome Building and the sensitive restoration of the existing buildings. Below is his detailed drawing of how we envisage to Walled Garden will start to take shape.
Artwork of the Walled Garden by Tom Stuart-Smith
Proposed view of how the Welcome Building will look
Inside the Welcome Building
Our Welcome Building will provide a bright and spacious entrance for the anticipated half a million-plus visitors per year. The timber roof grid has been designed to diffuse daylight as it enters, while louvres provide a flexible system for controlling natural and artificial light levels.
The concept behind the Welcome Building is to sequence several visitor functions from one interconnected open-plan space. For example, visitors will be able to access a café, plant shop and gift shop, while still enjoying panoramic views of the new garden.
Aerial view of the Welcome Building as approached from the west
As visitors approach the Welcome Building they will catch glimpses of the newly created lake and large open meadow through the building. The planning proposal allows people plenty of space to gather in front of the entrance and perhaps enjoy a picnic as part of their day out. The angular design of the building allows visitors to access it from several different points.
Inner Walled Garden
The northern part of the Walled Garden will become the Paradise Garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. Fruit and vegetables will be grown in the southern part of the garden, along with a Therapeutic Garden and community teaching allotments. The old greenhouses that once helped to feed the former residents of Worsley New Hall are beyond restoration, but when funding permits they will be replaced.
View looking north from the Welcome Building
A series of pergolas marks the entrances to the Walled Garden. The structure closest to Welcome Building, above, will form a frame through which to view a long lawn. Nearby is the lake, important for water management in the garden, from which a water garden of interlocking streams, pools and waterfalls will connect to the old lake.
The Stables Café
The existing stables buildings are to be refurbished and will form the new visitor café to be opened in 2020, prior to completion of the Welcome Building. The two original stables structures will be linked by an innovative glazed structure, especially designed to show off the older buildings, and the trees beyond, to best advantage, thus blending historic and contemporary style.