Scheme will require demolition of Walters & Cohen children’s play area

HOK's proposed family restaurant, earmarked for Kew Gardens

HOK’s proposed family restaurant, earmarked for Kew Gardens

HOK has lodged plans for a timber-framed family restaurant at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in west London.

But the 165-cover structure will require the demolition of a 1,200 sq m children’s centre designed by Walters & Cohen and completed in 2004 at a cost of £800,000.

Planning documents submitted to Richmond council earlier this month describe Walters & Cohen’s glass Climbers & Creepers centre as “not fit for purpose … due to the hard surfaces and potential for broken glass”.

HOK’s design and access statement said the glasshouse had been designed to store plants during the renovation of Kew’s Palm House, only to be converted to “temporarily” serve another purpose.

The practice added that its proposals would reuse the concrete slab on which Climbers & Creepers currently sits. HOK’s proposals have a slightly smaller gross internal area – 1,124sq m – than the Walters & Cohen centre.

HOK said Kew wanted to open the restaurant in 2021, subject to planning consent. Richmond is currently consulting on the proposals.

Others working on the scheme include Mott MacDonald as structural and M&E engineer and planning consultant LUC.

Inside Walters & Cohen's Climbers & Creepers children's centre at Kew Gardens

Inside Walters & Cohen’s Climbers & Creepers children’s centre at Kew Gardens