Thursday, 19 May 2011

RIBA Award for Kew Herbarium

The new Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives wing at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has been awarded a RIBA 2011 Award.

The collections at Kew are the best of their kind in the world and are identified as of national importance under the National Heritage Act 1983. The priceless collections not only include over 7 million dried plant specimens but also contain unpublished information on the exploration, discovery and investigation of the world's plants and fungi, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition there are letters of botanists such as Sir Joseph Banks, George Bentham, Sir William and Sir Joseph Hooker, and Charles Darwin.

Kew appointed Cullinans to design a new 5,000sqm extension to the Herbarium to provide a modern archive for the most vulnerable pieces of the existing collections and to allow for future acquisitions. The new building has allowed Kew to retain its internationally pre-eminent position as the world's leading centre for the study of plant diversity.

Edward Cullinan Architects are currently on site with an archive building for the British Film Institute.A key objective of the new film store is to prevent the deterioration and loss of the nation's films so that they can be made accessible now and in the future.

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