Internationally-renowned landscape architect Christopher Bradley-Hole has been appointed to develop the existing masterplan for its flagship RHS Garden Wisley, in Surrey. He will take key aspects of the plan to the next conceptual stage, and design the new front-of-house gardens, including those around the much-loved Arts and Crafts-style Laboratory.
The RHS also appointed Tom Stuart-Smith to take forward its exciting horticultural plans for the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford.
RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said: “I am delighted that these two hugely influential and innovative landscape architects will take forward such significant elements of our RHS Vision. With Tom and Christopher on board I am confident that these two gardens will be among the best and most popular in the UK.”
Big plans for RHS Garden Wisley
The latest site masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley was completed by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley at the start of this year, with conceptual design work by Dan Pearson Studios.
Christopher Bradley-Hole has been appointed to design the new visitor hub and welcome area, to provide an inspiring arrival experience for a world-class visitor destination. He will also further develop the horticultural masterplan, including for the garden’s Hilltop area, which will house a new horticultural science and educational centre.
Christopher Bradley-Hole said: “The new entrance and centre for science represent a new beginning for RHS Garden Wisley, and an opportunity to bring it into sharper focus. For more than a century Wisley has epitomised gardening possibilities and drawn gardeners through its unique breadth of display. Now is the chance to renew its context. Step by step through spatial clarity and crafting of detail we can slowly unfold a rich, enjoyable and engaging visitor experience.”
Visits to the garden have grown over the last 10 years from 734,000 to more than one million a year. The Hilltop area at RHS Garden Wisley will form the UK’s first dedicated scientific centre of excellence in horticultural taxonomy, plant health and horticultural science.
The improved visitor entrance will include exhibition space, an expanded plant centre, gift and book shop, and dedicated space for specialist UK nurseries to promote their plant diversity and expertise. The much-loved Arts and Crafts-Style Laboratory building will also be restored and revealed in a setting suitable for its heritage status.