Help us restore the Great Pagoda, a landmark in the capital
The Great Pagoda is one of the finest example of Chinese-inspired design anywhere in the world outside China. Completed in 1762 under the supervision and design of Sir William Chambers, an architect appointed by Princess Augusta, the Pagoda is an instrumental example of Chinoiserie, exotic and oriental trends incorporated into English culture and garden design at the time. Today, the Great Pagoda remains a symbol of Chinese and British exchange and co-operation.
More than 250 years later, this much-loved landmark in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, World Heritage Site is in urgent need of repair. It has been changed over time and has lost important features, including its 80 decorative dragons.
Our mission is to complete a major project to conserve, present and re-open the Great Pagoda at Kew Palace. For the first time in 50 years, this masterpiece of Chinese-inspired design will be permanently open for the public to explore and contemplate. Essential repair work is now underway and will be completed by summer 2018.
However we still require a significant amount to achieve our ambition; to recreate and reinstate the 80 dragons.
The eight dragons on the lowest level of the building will be hand carved in wood by master carpenters. The dragons for the remaining upper storeys will be made from synthetic polymer, manufactured using precision laser sintering, and will be almost completely immune from decay. The use of these materials and technologies means that, for the first time, something like Chambers’s original vision for the Great Pagoda can be restored and maintained.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a tangible contribution. All donors to our appeal will be acknowledged at the Great Pagoda and receive an invitation to the very special event in 2018.
Supporters of the eight wooden dragons, in recognition of the higher level of support, will also receive the gift of a miniature replica dragon and will receive personalised acknowledgement on site.