18 January 2012 By Billy Hawkins
After having secured a substantial lottery grant, the project of replacing a collection of three interconnected Victorian greenhouses in the gardens of Myddelton House in Lee Valley Parks was put to tender.
Alitex were approached by Andris Berzins, an architect charged with the project, not only because of our reputation within the manufacturing and horticultural worlds but also our ability to supply a staggering amount of pre-contract information, help and support, which fed into the decision making process.
The project will help the team at Myddelton House Gardens restore the gardens back to their heyday when Edward Augustus Bowles lived in Myddelton House from 1865 to 1954. Bowles dedicated much of his life to transforming the gardens with his love of unusual and exotic plants.
Chris Sawyer, Sales Director at Alitex worked closely with Andris Berzins, Andrew Turvey, the Head Gardner and Cuttle Construction, the appointed contractors, to draw up a detailed specification with clear instructions and timelines. Structural engineers from Alitex were able to precision design using Solidworks (a 3D virtual design system) allowing rigorous capability testing to be performed prior to manufacturing. Click here.
Paul Hewitt, Project Manager from Alitex took over the building works, checking what was already there, in this case a flat horizontal wall which the greenhouse would adjoin. Working with the Alitex design team and ensuring full communication was kept with the client; work began in a safe and planned environment. With so much attention to detail, thought and planning, the project was able to advance within the original time frames.
Andrew Turvey wanted to be able to go from the potting shed into the greenhouse and this was made possible by Dave Trevena at Alitex, the traditional greenhouse design champion. Dave was able to manipulate traditional design elements into the Myddelton House Greenhouses. The end design, following original key features, gradients and bows, included an initial Vinery which will run at 10c. The vinery has a door, leading into the middle, largest section of the greenhouse, which joins the original wall (designers were able to overcome a bow of 30mm in this ancient wall, discovered by Paul during the site survey). Temperatures here remain at 10c before passing through an internal door where the temperature rises to 15c. Here visitors can rest on benches next to a beautiful water feature. The end greenhouse is sunken and kept at 10c.This range of climatic space and varied staging throughout allows Andrew to nurture the plants that EA Bowles would have originally collected, including vines, beds of lilies, orchids and succulents. Click here for more info.
The project will have taken approximately one year from the initial enquiry to finish.
The gardens are free to visit everyday except Christmas and Boxing Day.