Kew Gardens


The 2006 RIBA Award winning landmark building is the first new glasshouse to be constructed at the World Heritage site for over twenty years.

All in the detail

Marley CitiDeck® non-slip decking was specified for The Davies Alpine glasshouse at the historical Kew Gardens. The 2006 RIBA Award winning landmark building is the first new glasshouse to be constructed at the World Heritage site for over twenty years.

The glasshouse is conceived as two back-to-back arches which create a stack effect to draw warm air out of the building. Below ground level, air is pushed into a concrete labyrinth for cooling, and then recirculated around the perimeter of the house via a series of displacement pipes.

Further environmental control is provided by a unique shading solution based on a fan-like form similar to a peacock’s tail. The building, designed by Stirling Prize winning architects Wilkinson Eyre, has an important outside feature in the form of a raised deck area, which allows visitors views across the stream.

This area has to complement the sustainability and aesthetics of the building itself and CitiDeck® was specified, a product particularly suitable for applications where high pedestrian traffic is expected and resistance to wear is important. Ian Knight of contractors AA Knight commented, “After visiting the site several times I was pleased to hear many visitors express their approval of the CitiDeck® decking. It was noted that it provided safety while still blending into the overall design of the Alpine House to provide a safe and attractive visitor platform”.



  • CitiDeck®


  • Leisure


  • Ian Knight (AA Contractors) 


  • South
Marley timber decking installed at Kew Gardens
The building will raise the profile of Kew’s alpine collection, creating a gateway to the rock garden and a new focal point for this part of the site. Improved accessibility is a key aspect of the design and entrance vestibules with open doors at each end of the building will encourage public access.

Marley timber decking has been successfully specified on many of the UK’s visitor attractions for high levels of slip resistance, ease of maintenance, accessibility for wheelchair users, the visually impaired and high levels of visitor traffic. All boards meet BS7976 with full PEFC chain of custody. Boards can be castellated or smooth with either two or three anti-slip inserts depending on the project’s requirements.

Natural decking has the lowest embodied energy of any mainstream building material and is a managed material to deliver a more sustainable product, enhancing the environmental credentials of the project. Timber decking provides complete peace of mind with a comprehensive 25 year guarantee.

Technical support is provided by Marley throughout the lifecycle of the project, from specification with the client or landscape architect, to advice for the contractor on correct installation. As every project has different challenges and objectives, our experienced technical support team can work with you to discuss your requirements and help you find the best solution.