Going Underground

The Great Aquarium, Kew Gardens

The Palm House is the most popular attraction of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Rather less known is the great aquarium, which lies beneath the palm house in a reflection of the iconic structure. To one side, visitors gaze at the Victorian seaweed gardens beneath the waters of the ornamental lake. To the other side the largest aquarium in northern Europe is home to an unrivalled collection of sea creatures from around the world.

Stairs spiral up from ground level up over the tree canopy and down under the root canopy, which hangs overhead, held by tensile nets.

Visitors note: the attraction is currently closed for refurbishment.

Peter produced the drawing over election night 2015. He writes:
The Architects Journal & RIW competition 'Going Underground' asks people to imagine what lies below landmark buildings. I was reminded of a trip to Kew many years ago with some friends. Whilst walking through the Palm House we noticed a sign pointing down a set of stairs to the Aquarium. My friends were surprised to see this, so I carefully explained that there was indeed an aquarium beneath the building, and that it had been designed as an exact reflection of the building above, from which you could peer out into the murk of the lake beyond. Excitedly, we walked down the stairs to see what lay below...

RIW 'Going Underground' drawing competition for The Architects Journal.
Entry by Beep Studio, May 2015