Bombay Sapphire Glasshouses

Laverstoke Mill, Hampshire, UK

The glasshouses at the new distillery and headquarters display the plants that give Bombay Sapphire gin its signature flavour. During his employment as a Kew Innovation Unit horticultural consultant, Phil provided horticultural advice to help the design team achieve the internal environmental conditions required for plant growth and display.

As display plants are tropical and mediterranean, two bespoke glasshouse structures were designed by Heatherwick Studio to create the different climates. The structures’ clear glass and the absence of shading and direct ventilation presented horticultural challenges. Plants need air movement to grow true to form. Heat gain is reduced with mechanical ventilation, which extracts heat through the funnels at the top of the glasshouse. Although mediterranean and tropical plants handle stronger solar radiation in their native environments, the seasonal and rapid changes in light levels (if unmitigated) can be problematic once the plants acclimatise to local temperate winters.  Light levels are managed operationally on long summer days.