ISG’s 'breathtakingly beautiful' Temperate House reopens at Kew

03 May 2018

ISG’s 'breathtakingly beautiful' Temperate House reopens at Kew

ISG’s historic £34 million restoration of the world's largest surviving Victorian glasshouse at London’s Kew Gardens is now complete, having reopened its doors to the public after a five-year hiatus.

The jewel in the Kew Gardens crown, Temperate House reopened to the public last week amid glowing global coverage for its magnificent new look, with legendary broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough describing the revamped glasshouse as “a breathtakingly beautiful space”.

Temperate House, which sits at the heart of Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was originally constructed in 1863 to house specimens from around the world so they could be studied, understood, and, as of recently, saved from extinction.

The Royal Botanic Gardens appointed ISG to complete the much-needed refurbishment of the historic building in 2014, work which has been vital in protecting its unrivalled collection of rare and endangered plant species from all over the world.

Perhaps the most famous of them all is the encephalartos woodii tree, which is part of the cycad family – a type of plant that once dominated the planet 300 million years ago during the Jurassic Period, but is now on the verge of extinction.

The male specimen of the tree at Kew Gardens, which ISG helped to carefully rehouse during restoration work, is the only discovered cycad of its kind in the world, and is known as the “loneliest tree in the world”.

ISG’s 'breathtakingly beautiful' Temperate House reopens at Kew

The statistics speak for themselves on the historic Temperate House restoration project, with 10,000 plants uprooted and replanted, 67,000 panes of glass replaced, 69,000 sections of metal, stone and timber repaired or replaced, and enough scaffolding to stretch the length of the M25 used during the course of construction.

Global news network, CNN, references ISG’s care in restoring vast numbers of components from the original Temperate House designs, in order to maintain the iconic appearance of the Grade I listed building.

‘The length of the renovation allowed contractor ISG, who employed traditional masons, lead workers, joiners and lime plasterers on the project, to adhere to the aesthetics of Burton's original designs, found in Kew's archives,’ it reads.

‘In all, 25,000 individual components were carefully removed, cleaned, repaired and reinstated, according to Matt Blowers, UK managing director for contractor ISG.’

Follow the link to read the full article, ‘World's largest surviving Victorian glasshouse reopens after $57M revamp’, which can be found at Please note the article may only be available for registered users.