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The Great Pagoda at Kew


" Crowned and bejewelled for all to enjoy."

The Great Pagoda resides at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Majestically soaring over 50 metres in height, it is considered the finest 18th-century example of Chinoiserie architecture in the world.

The Great Pagoda was created by Sir William Chambers for Princess Augusta in 1762, as her son, George III, was about to ascend the throne.

The Great Pagoda has changed over time.  When it was first constructed it was designed to dazzle its audience. The challenge of maintaining such a unique and intricate building, combined with the changes that successive generations imposed upon the building, had left the Pagoda in a poor state of repair and lacking much of its original splendour and decoration. A king without his crown, a queen without her jewels.

Few have been brave or bold enough to contemplate restoring the building to Chambers’ original design. Led by Hatto, together with the highest calibre of curators, consultants, contractors and artisans, this cultural conundrum has finally been solved.

Project objectives

  • Restore the Great Pagoda to its former glory

  • Research and reinstate 80 lost dragons that previously adorned the building

  • Open the Great Pagoda to the public, for all to enjoy this cultural icon

  • Tell visitors about the fascinating royal heritage of Kew

  • Strengthen our ties between China and Great Britain

Our role

  • Direct and lead the project from inception to completion

  • Work with and synthesise the in-house interpretation teams

  • Specialist research, design, development and delivery of the 80 lost dragons

  • Collections management and showcasing

  • Generate the master budget and maintain the cost plan

  • Risk management

  • Procure all consultants, contractors and artisans

  • Construction management

  • Site management

  • Stakeholder communication

The Great Pagoda was fully restored and opened by HRH Prince Charles and stands today bejewelled and crowned, taking pride of place as part of the epic London skyline.

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