Bombay Sapphire Glasshouses
previous employment, Kew Innovation Unit

The glasshouses at the new distillery and headquarters display the plants that give Bombay Sapphire gin its signature flavour. As their 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 could be reduced with mechanical ventilation, extracting heat through the funnels at the top of the glasshouse. Light levels will still need to be managed operationally on long summer days. 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.