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Nature + Love Project, Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Nature + Love project for the Horniman Museum and Gardens in South London will transform previously underused areas of the estate into new destinations to enable the Horniman to meet its most important objectives to become more inclusive, and to place environmental sustainability and a commitment to fighting the climate and biodiversity emergencies at the heart of its programming. The design scheme enhances the existing estate with new visitor attractions whilst helping the Horniman achieve the objectives outlined in its Climate and Ecology Manifesto, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and waste and increasing biodiversity by 2030, and becoming greenhouse gas neutral by 2040.

Driven by the notion that a love of nature and time spent in natural environments is a value we all share, new facilities have been designed to enable the Horniman to build on its existing audiences, including parents and children who visit frequently. Additionally, a key objective is to improve outreach to presently underrepresented audiences from ethnically diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic groups and those with disabilities, to broaden the Horniman’s audience so that it matches the diversity of London’s population.

The design scheme focuses on three key areas across the estate; the Natural History Gallery and Nature Explorers’ Action Zone in the south-east corner of the Museum; a Nature Explorers’ Adventure Zone in the north corner of the Gardens; and a Sustainable Gardening Zone in the east corner of the Gardens. These three spaces will encourage learning and wellbeing through exploration and play, and support people to make changes on a local and personal level to nurture the planet.

Site area: 16.5 acres
Value: £10m
Funding: The National Lottery Heritage Fund


Client: Horniman Museum and Gardens
Lead architect: Feilden Fowles
Landscape architect: J&L Gibbons
Conservation architect – Natural History Gallery: Fiona Raley Architecture/ Richard Griffiths
Project manager: Focus
Exhibition designer: Studio MB
Structural engineer: Structure Workshop
Services engineer: Skelly & Couch
Lighting engineer: Michael Grubb Studio
Cost consultant: Artelia

Selected Press

April 2023, Merlin Fulcher ‘Feilden Fowles submits plans for £10m Horniman Museum upgrade‘, Architects’ Journal
May 2022, Merlin Fulcher, ‘Feilden Fowles wins contest for £9m Horniman Museum upgrade‘, Architects’ Journal