Horniman Museum Nature + Love

Pioneering £8.6m regeneration of the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, south-east London, designed to highlight the climate emergency.

Skelly & Couch is part of the competition-winning team led by architects Feilden Fowles to carry out an £8.6m regeneration of the Grade II*-listed Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, south-east London. 

Our multidisciplinary team will ‘re-invigorate and re-interpret’ outdoor and indoor spaces across the Arts and Crafts style building and its surrounding gardens.

The Nature + Love project seeks to highlight climate and ecological issues and focuses on three areas of the Horniman Museum and Gardens site:

Natural History Gallery – Refurbishment and upgrade of the Natural History Gallery to provide long-term conservation of the exhibits and to enhance the visitor experience

Nature Explorers’ Adventure Zone – Development of the boating pond area at the lower end of the site to create a new children’s play/education area and associated café for visitors, with a key aim to promote visits to this area of the site and the adjoining nature trail

Sustainable Gardening Zone – Development of the existing gardeners’ propagation glasshouses to provide enhanced glasshouses and community facilities. Landscaping improvements to the South Downs area of the site.

The sustainability objectives that align most closely with the building and site, and factored into the environmental design, are: acting on climate change; minimising waste; responsible water use; improving well-being; and responsible procurement.

The Horniman’s main building, designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, opened in 1901 and an extension was completed 10 years later by the same architect. Allies and Morrison expanded the complex in 2002, while Skelly & Couch with Walters & Cohen completed a £2.3 million garden pavilion in 2012.