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CDC Studio

The Rising Path

Inspiring a curious eye with elevated botanical outlooks. A 96m structure spirals between the trees, sweeping out from the landscape of the Systematic Beds at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
A winning scheme for Cambridge University Botanic Garden. A dynamic spiral, the 65-metre long.
An elevated view over the Systematic beds

"This innovative structure is a key part of an ongoing project to re-examine, re-interpret and re-display our Systematic Beds which will help visitors, students and scientists to understand more about plants, how they are related, and why this is so important for science"

Professor Beverley Glover, Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Andrew Murray's original plan for Cambridge University Botanic Garden
The Plant House -archive photograph
Water fountain designed by David Mellor and completed in 1970.
Aerial view of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Aerial photo taken from north east of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Aerial view
The interpretation hub below the raised viewing point of The rising Path by CDC Studio
A close up of the steel handrail at the CDC Studio project Rising Path
Child running along The Rising Path by CDC Studio

"It is a privilege to be asked to design a structure within the special and beautiful setting of the Botanic Garden. Mindful of the value of the collections around it, The Rising Path has an elegant curving form that provides a framework for furthering understanding of the Systematic Beds, as well as defining a stimulating new space in the Garden"

Robin Dryer , Director Cdc Studio
The interpretation hub below The Rising Path by CDC Studio
The interpretation hub below The Rising Path by CDC Studio at night
Elevation of The Rising Path by CDC Studio showing the interpretation hub below the raised viewing point
Side view of sloping ramp at The Rising Path by CDC Studio
CDC studio's rising path project surrounded by trees
The space at the centre of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Stairs to the top of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Ramp of The Rising Path by CDC Studio slopes down into the distance
The ramp sweeps up around the maturing conifer collection

"Our challenge to the architects was to design an imaginative structure that played on the unique character of our historic landscape and outdoor, living collection of plants. With the Rising Path, they have succeeded in creating just the kind of intriguing, memorable and uplifting experience we were after"

Professor Beverley Glover, Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Plan drawing of the Rising Path my CDC Studio
Specialist hand driven steel pile footings by Surefoot under construction
Connection between frame and specialist hand driven steel pile footings by Surefoot
Low end of galvanised steel frame of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Galvanised steel frame of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Close up of the galvanised steel frame of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Specialist hand driven steel pile footings by Surefoot
Aerial view showing text routed into the accoya and filled with antislip resin on the Rising Path by CDC Studio
Text routed into the accoya timber and filled with antislip resin
Accoya timber decking under construction on The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Connection node within the frame of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
The frame of The Rising Path by CDC Studio under construction
Text routed into the accoya and filled with antislip resin at The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Accoya balustrade being attached to galvanised steel frame
Accoya timber decking under construction
North Elevation drawing of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
Long section drawing of The Rising Path project by CDC Studio
North Elevation
Concept plan sketch of The Rising Path project by CDC Studio
An aerial 3D visual of The Rising Path by CDC Studio
A concept sketch of The Rising Path Project by CDC Studio
  • Client

    Cambridge University
  • User

    CU Botanic Garden
  • Location

    Cambridge
  • Budget

    Private
  • Design Team

    Smith and Wallwork Engineers
    Max Fordham
    Henry Riley
    Designmap
    Lockhart Garrat
  • Contractor

    Millcam
  • Team

    Robin Dryer, Mark Clarke, Delphine Dryer, Sam Greaves, Alasdair Ferguson, Hannah Verner, Sixuan Li, Thomas Odorico
  • Photographs

    Richard Chivers
    Simon Smith (Smith and Wallwork)
    CDC Studio