Chelsea designers win RHS garden masterplan roles

Tom Stuart-Smith, who has eight Chelsea golds, is to be the master planner and designer for the new 60ha RHS Garden Bridgewater, while Christopher Bradley-Hole will take forward the existing masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley.

Bradley-Hole, who has six Chelsea golds, has been appointed to develop Dan Pearson's masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley, "taking key aspects of the plan to the next conceptual stage, and to design the new front-of-house gardens including those around the much-loved Arts and Crafts-style Laboratory".
Pearson is working on the London Garden Bridge.

RHS director general Sue Biggs, who has driven the appointments, said:  "I am delighted that these two hugely influential and innovative landscape architects will take forward such significant elements of our RHS Vision. With Tom and Christopher on board I am confident that these two gardens will be among the best and most popular in the UK."

Stuart-Smith’s master plan will set out the overall vision for the garden, assessing its current condition and outlining the conceptual approach for its future.

HW predicted Stuart-Smith would be given the role when the RHS announced the garden lease in October. Stuart-Smith's long-term Chelsea landscape contractor and plant supplier Crocus is expected to work with Stuart-Smith on implementation of the plans. Willerby is another contractor that could be involved.

The task will include the restoration of the 4ha walled kitchen garden, developing historic features such as the tree-lined avenue and reinterpreting the Nesfield Terraces, which sit between the lake and the site of the lost Worsley New Hall.

Stuart-Smith said: "I have known the amazing site that is to become RHS Garden Bridgewater for some time and it is really remarkable. It is a great honour and a huge challenge to be able to contribute to this very exciting project. There is amazing potential here to make something innovative, relevant and distinctly different."

The latest site masterplan for RHS Garden Wisley was completed by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley at the start of this year, with conceptual design work by Dan Pearson Studios. Christopher Bradley-Hole has been appointed to design the new visitor hub and welcome area. He will also further develop the horticultural master plan, including for the garden’s Hilltop area, which will house a new horticultural science and educational centre.

Bradley-Hole said: "The new entrance and centre for science represent a new beginning for RHS Garden Wisley, and an opportunity to bring it into sharper focus. For more than a century Wisley has epitomised gardening possibilities and drawn gardeners through its unique breadth of display. Now is the chance to renew its context. Step by step through spatial clarity and crafting of detail we can slowly unfold a rich, enjoyable and engaging visitor experience."

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