Project Spotlight blog

Hogarth’s House was built between 1715 and 1719. From 1749, it was the country home of the great painter, engraver and satirist William Hogarth (1697 – 1764).

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Mulberry Garden Project was a joint initiative between Hounslow Council, which is the trustee of Hogarth’ House, and the William Hogarth Trust. The aim was to create a new and accessible studio space for hosting community events, seasonal activities and learning programmes, and to re-landscape the garden to highlight historic planting and themes.

Enhancing facilities and learning opportunities

Diamond Build was responsible for constructing the new single-storey studio, which was subtly connected to the existing House. The ground floor of an existing kitchen was altered to accommodate the new building and a new reception area, corridor and disabled toilet constructed.

The studio’s impressive structure was created by installing a Glulam frame, comprising triple and double columns. The structure was then clad in glass and linked to the House with a curtain walling system. The green roof of the new studio featured an integrated Bauder roofing system comprising a number of different finishes, including zinc and slate.

Inside the new building, Diamond Build laid a timber floor and stone paving was installed around the perimeter.

To provide a base for the garden team, a new timber bothy was also built along with storage facilities.

Project Spotlight blog
Project Spotlight blog

Conserving and restoring the historic garden

As part of the project, an historic Grade I listed garden wall was repaired and restored by Diamond Build and an exhibition garden was created, presenting aspects of the site’s history. New paths were laid, and a frame installed over the ‘nut walk’ to the new studio, incorporating serpentine bars and iron mulberry leaves.

Extensive landscaping was carried out, including the planting of orchard trees and flower beds displaying varieties of floral and edible plants popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Throughout the works, an ancient mulberry tree, located in the heart of the garden, had to be protected. A small greenhouse was also relocated.

Overcoming challenges

The site’s limited access meant that effective sequencing was crucial throughout the works. The majority of the scheme had to be completed before the landscaping could begin, and for the first part of the project, the House remained open to the public.

Diamond Build worked closely with the architects to help co-ordinate and manage the complex design, which featured a variety of components, finishes and building materials that had to be carefully integrated.

A further challenge was the mechanical and electrical solution, which required services in the House to be disconnected while the new ones were installed. Alterations to the existing underground drainage were also needed.

Project Spotlight blog

The outcome

The refurbishment is enabling visitors to discover all aspects of the garden’s history, has created a more appropriate setting for the House and provided an impressive multi-purpose space for school visits as well as event and functions for the whole community.

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