30th May 2018

Restoring Belfast’s Historic Tropical Ravine

The Tropical Ravine, a 131-year-old greenhouse in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens, reopened on 12th April following a three year, £3.8m restoration. What started as a push by the charity Friends of Botanic Gardens for work to be done on the roof turned into a considerably more extensive venture.

Appointed by glazing contractor, Topglass, Clear Structures worked on the structure’s entrance and lobby screens, internal glass walls, glass balustrades and steel frames.

 Many challenges were overcome during this restoration project, specifically in the connection details, owing to unusual angles in the structure, and bringing together the various elements. Additionally, we had to ensure that the brackets were visually and architecturally pleasing.

Barry Patrick, Associate in our Northern Ireland office, comments: “It was a pleasure to be involved in the restoration works of such an iconic building as the Tropical Ravine. Our structural glass elements have brought this Victorian building into the 21st century while keeping its original heritage. We hope visitors from all over the world can enjoy one of Belfast’s latest tourist attractions and its unique plant collections for many years to come.”

This complex refurbishment project has successfully reinstated the Tropical Ravine’s Victorian features, preserving its botanical collection which includes some of the world’s oldest plants.