Edinburgh Biomes - March 2019
A vision for our future
The Royal Botanic garden Edinburgh has revealed plans for an ambitious new project to protect its unique and globally important plant collection.
The Edinburgh Biomes project aims to secure the Garden’s work for future generations and provide a spectacular new visitor experience for the public. Edinburgh Biomes will bring together RBGE’s research, horticulture, education and infrastructure facilities and significantly refurbish and rebuild its Glasshouses.
Arguably the most ambitious undertaking of the Garden’s 349-year history, Edinburgh Biomes will cover restoration and repairs and deliver world-leading facilities that will protect the work of this national institution for the future.
Details of the project come at a time when the Garden’s existing Glasshouse facilities - including both the Grade A listed Victorian Palm Houses, and 1960’s visitor and research Glasshouses - require extensive refurbishment. It will ensure the Glasshouses continue to provide a safe environment for the Garden’s plant collection.
Comprising over 13,500 plant species, RBGE’s collection includes many plants that are endangered or extinct in their native habitats.
The Garden has received initial funding from the Scottish Government to take forward the necessary planning and preparation and will continue to work with Ministers on the next stages, which will include a fundraising campaign.
Artist’s impressions reveal the main public hub of the Biomes. A new Glasshouse, costing around £7.5m, will provide the entrance point to a considerably rejuvenated Glasshouse Experience, taking visitors through the refurbished A-Listed modernist Front Range and Victorian Temperate and Tropical Palm Houses.
Designed initially to act as a temporary home for the plants being decanted from the Garden’s public and research houses during the seven-year project, the new Glasshouse will ultimately create an unrivalled welcome to the world of plants, linking with behind-the-scenes facilities such as the Herbarium, Library and Archives.
Interior view of the New Glasshouse looking North towards the existing Front Range.
Interior view of the New Glasshouse looking South.
The proposed first phase of the Edinburgh Biomes involves the creation of a new, efficient and sustainable energy centre and state-of-the-art plant health suite - at the Nursery to the north of the main site - to replace existing, aging, facilities. The new plant health suite will provide a safe bio-secure propagation environment. The new energy centre will introduce ground source heat pumps which, coupled with new low heat loss pipework will reduce the carbon footprint of the Glasshouses by 12 per cent.
More information will follow as it becomes available.
[Published on 20 March 2019]
- held on 27 November 2018, 10 and 31 January 2019
- Information presented at the final Public Consultation (31 January 2019)
- submitted on 4 Dec. 2018 (Nursery) and 1 Mar. 2019 (Garden)