Watch footage of the stunning ten-sided glasshouse designed by Heatherwick Studio
See the Kinetic Glasshouse and Silk Route Garden unveiled by Heatherwick Studio and The National Trust at Woolbeding. Cover image by Raquel Diniz, Heatherwick Studio
The latest project from Heatherwick Studio, the multi-award winning design studio based in central London, comes in the form of a bespoke glasshouse and gardens at The National Trust's Woolbeding site. Scroll down for footage of the remarkable glasshouse opening.
The ten-sided Kinetic Glasshouse and the surrounding Silk Route Garden exhibit plants, shrubs and trees depicting the key regions of the Silk Route. The garden reveals the influence of the ancient trading route on modern English gardens. The unfolding structure is the focal point and features ten steel 'sepals' with a glass and aluminium façade which take four minutes to open into the shape of a crown.
The design of the glasshouse takes its inspiration from Victorian ornamental terrariums. On warm days, the glasshouse will open its 'sepals' allowing the plants to access sunshine and ventilation but can remain closed when the weather is colder.
Surrounding the glasshouse, a winding path takes visitors on a twelve-step journey through a landscape influenced by the ancient trading route between Asia and Europe along which plants such as rosemary, lavender and fennel were brought to Britain for the first time. From Mediterranean evergreens in the garden to tender subtropical plants in the glasshouse, there will be over 300 species on display.
Thomas Heatherwick said of the project 'it speaks of our need to keep creating amazing pasts. Weaving contemporary inventions into the fabric of historic settings and having the confidence to let each one speak to the other.'
Watch the Woolbeding Glasshouse opening
The Woolbeding Glasshouse and the Silk Route Garden are open on Thursdays and Fridays until 30 September. Visit the National Trust website for more information.
Molly is the Gardens Illustrated's editorial and digital assistant. She has a roof garden and has her RHS level 2.
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