Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fosters reveals contentious plans for Queen's rowbarge centre

  • Comment

Foster + Partners has unveiled controversial plans for a visitor centre to house the barge at the centre of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations

The proposed dry dock and boathouse for the Gloriana – the Queen’s royal rowbarge – has already attracted criticism from locals who do not want the scheme built in woodland at Orleans Gardens in Richmond, west London.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Paul Bigley, a spokesman for the Friends of Orleans Riverside, said: ‘They are talking about cutting a canal into the wooded area to house the barge which is 95ft [30m], a large structure, with a visitors centre and new café to go with it.

‘It is part of a wider plan to bring in more tourism, but it just wipes out another area. We don’t want it turning the place into a Disney tourist attraction, and this boat would do that – this area should remain untouched.’

An online petition Save Orleans Riverside from Development has also been launched, with one signatory claiming the proposal is a ‘blatant act of vandalism’.

The design team maintains the scheme respects ‘the specific needs of the craft’ – which was the first royal rowbarge to be built in over 200 years and was the lead boat at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012.

The local authority Richmond Council said it was essential the Gloriana had a ‘safe and secure home to act as a permanent base, with access to the water to facilitate her charitable and ceremonial functions and to enable members of the public to admire her beauty and learn of the history of the vessel’.

Lord True, leader of the authority, said: ‘This is a once-off opportunity. Other boroughs were keen to secure the privilege of hosting Gloriana. But as the only borough straddling the Thames, with centuries old royal connections I believe Richmond upon Thames is uniquely equipped to be the home of this remarkable piece of British craftsmanship, designed and built by our residents and honouring one of our greatest ever monarchs.’

Public consultation on the scheme began earlier this month and the plans will go on show in the Orleans House Gallery between 18-20 July.

If approved, work could start on site in Autumn 2015.

Foster + Partners' proposal for the Gloriana boathouse

Foster + Partners’ proposal for the Gloriana boathouse


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs


Do you want the latest jobs emailed to you?
Sign up for job alerts.

AJ Jobs