A jewelesque new glasshouse designed by Heatherwick Studio has popped up on the grounds of west Sussex’s Woolbeding House.
Ferns, umbrella trees, magnolias and bananas all flourish inside the diamond-shaped, ten-sided greenhouse, which was designed with the Victorians’ terrarium obsession in mind. Ten steel and glass ‘sepals’ crown the building, located in the gardens 18th-century house.
The glasshouse – which is open to the public – uses hydraulics to unfurl its roof on warm days and expose plants to direct sun and ventilation, with the panels unfolding to resemble a crown of glass petals. On cooler days, the building stays closed to protect its collection of subtropical plants.
Heatherwick Studio’s design is part of the Silk Route Garden, which is heavily influenced by the historic trade between Asia and Europe. It is filled with species brought to Britain for the first time thanks to this route – including rosemary, lavender and fennel.