Great Conservatory at RHS CHatsworth Flower Show 2017

Client: Royal Horticultural Society
Scope: Create replica of Paxton Conservatory
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The Chatsworth Estate opened its doors and its grounds to the Royal Horticultural Society's inaugural RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in June 2017 for a new show with a style and content unlike any of its existing events. The show's overarching theme was 'Design Revolutionaries', and celebrated the creative genius of gardeners and garden designers of the past, such as Joseph Paxton, as well as the talent and innovative thinking of today's generation of designers.

Nick Mattingley, RHS Director of Shows brought Unusual Rigging on board to construct a replica of Paxton's Great Conservatory, which was built in 1840. Instead of an intricate glass structure, the reincarnation was an impressive inflatable dome expertly constructed by Unusual Rigging in collaboration with Inflate.

  • designed an impressive 21m x 21m x 14m truss structure to support the 40m x 40m x 14m inflatable structure
  • secured the structure to the ground using Platipus ground anchors to provide resistance to each of the structure's eight legs (each requiring 18 tonnes of resistance per leg)
  • enlisted the services of Eurotruss to design and manufacture a number of bespoke elements as well as to provide as many standard sections as possible
  • assembled the grand new system, which was delivered direct to site, factoring in the various inflatable skins supplied by Inflate, which like the truss system arrived directly to site without pre-fitting
  • timed the lifts and fixings to suit the wind conditions as the structure could not be secured to the ground during assembly.

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