Spirit of Cornwall Chelsea Show Garden Pavilion

Studio Evans Lane, London, 2018


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Architects Studio Evans Lane, bringing together the disciplines of garden design, architecture, musical composition and sculpture to create a show garden for the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The project was inspired by the work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and rooted in her love of Cornwall, directly referencing the juxtaposition of her bronze sculptural interventions set within the naturalistic simplicity of her own garden in St Ives. The metal work that runs throughout the garden, forming its backbone, is the physical manifestation of a piece of music commissioned by the Hepworth Trust.

The sound-wave pattern has been re-imagined as a multitude of linear steel flat plates that form both the horizontal and vertical feature elements; a fence, a bridge and the garden pavilion itself. Like the continuous thread of a piece of music, the metal work creates a connection between all the spaces.

A large spun steel dish forms the roof of the pavilion to provide a high-level water reservoir. Seen from above, the water is a 4m diameter reflecting pool, ripples gently pulsate out from the centre in a concentric pattern flowing over the edge of the spout and falling to the pond below. As well as collecting rainwater, the dish receives and re-circulates water from the pond.

The sub-tropical planting is lush and dense, creating a strong sense of enclosure and calm. Capturing the essence of the South Cornwall micro-climate, they complement the rhythmic bronze metallic forms. The composition is unified by the light concrete ‘lily-pads’, a further reference to the organic stone sculptures of Barbara Hepworth.

With re-use and sustainability being a primary consideration, Studio Evans Lane designed the structures to be demounted and re-erected at a garden design college in Kent when the show came to an end.


  • Begun: May 2018
  • Completed: May 2018
  • Floor area: 120m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £150,000
  • Funding: Sponsored by VTB Capital Bank
  • Tender date: Dec 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works Contract 2005
  • Address: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, Chelsea, London, United Kingdom

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