Acoustic plaster ceiling installtion in Kew Gardens' orangery

Kew Gardens, The Orangery

Project: Kew Gardens, The Orangery, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, TW9

Segment: Leisure/Café

Country/city: United Kingdom, Richmond Upon Thames

Architect: Acanthus Clews Architects

Acoustic consultant: Adrian James Acoustics

Mural artist (perimeter of arches): Richard Bagguley

Installer: UK Acoustic Systems Ltd - Kirkham

Photographer: Andy Marshall

Main contractor: City Axis Ltd

Sub contractor: City Axis Ltd

Project size: approx. 350-400 m2

Production year: 2023

The Orangery is a Grade I listed building designed by William Chambers in 1761 for Her Royal Highness Augusta, Princess Dowager of Wales and as such is recognised as being of the highest architectural and historical importance, it’s a key attribute of Kew Gardens as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During its renovations the Client brief included removal of existing fabric acoustic baffles and installation of a new bespoke acoustic system.

The acoustic testing was conducted by Adrian James Acoustics which identified the vast extent of acoustically reflective hard and flat surface area to the ceiling, causing excessive reverberation and high noise levels that can create an uncomfortable environment when the space is in use.

Acanthus Clews Architects took the opportunity to incorporate acoustically absorbent material to the ceiling and the north wall, within arched recessed, to create an architecturally sympathetic design reflecting the elegant classical architecture of the Georgian building. 

The recess on the north wall creates a physical frame for the high-level acoustic material, which is decorated with a tromp l’oeil latticework and the renaissance statues sit on raised plinths in front. The addition of acoustic finishes provided the opportunity to create focal points within the large space.

Ecophon Fade™ Acoustic Plaster Plus+ has been subtly installed to provide a successful outcome by dramatically improving the environmental comfort of the space for visitors without compromising the aesthetic of the historically important building.