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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.
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

"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 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
Specialist hand driven steel pile footings by Surefoot
Text routed into the accoya timber and filled with antislip resin
Accoya timber decking under construction
North Elevation
  • Client

    Cambridge University
  • User

    CU Botanic Garden
  • Location

  • Budget

  • Design Team

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

  • 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