The spectacular, Grade I listed, Temperate House is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse. It first opened in 1863 and is home to over 10,000 plants, including some of the rarest species found in temperate regions around the world. It attracts over one million visitors annually.
By 2012 the glass and metal structure was in a state of disrepair, which led to a major restoration project costing £41m. During the five-year refurbishment, fibreglass the 52,500ft2 building was closed to the public and shrouded in an enormous protective tent; large enough to cover three Boeing 747 planes.
Bringing the building back to its former glory involved painstaking dismantling, restoration and reinstallation of unique components, including the original cast iron gutters that extended around the perimeter of the multi-tiered roof structure.
Each section of guttering was taken from Kew to a shot blasting facility, where existing layers of paint were removed, leaving a bare metal surface. Tor’s ElastasealTM HD gutter coating system was then applied. Based on a high solids formula, with fibreglass reinforcement, the heavy-duty system delivers incredible tensile strength and resistance to water. It includes proprietary components, to encapsulate bolt heads and bridge joints, that ensure a seamless waterproof finish.
ElastasealTM HD has a guaranteed minimum life expectancy of 20 years, which can be extended by simply recoating – a feature that appealed greatly to the client.
The Temperate House was re-opened by the famous English broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough on May 3rd 2018.