Approval for the construction of a Temperate House was granted in 1859. Decimus Burton (1800-81) prepared the designs and work began in 1860, but the building was not completed immediately and work was postponed indefinitely in 1863. It was not until 1894 that approval was given for the final stage with work restarting in August 1895. The south wing was finished in 1897, followed by the north wing, in 1898. The completed building, which is the largest glasshouse at Kew, measures 180m by 42m at its greatest length and breadth, and covers an area of 4800m2, about twice the size of the Palm House.
The house underwent a complete refurbishment in the 1980’s. Climate Controls Ltd was successful in their bid to provide services including the heating, ventilation and environmental control system.
Since that refurbishment in the 1980’s, the systems within the house have been upgraded to keep pace with technological improvements. Most recently, Climate Controls Ltd undertook the upgrade of the control system to the Temperate House and adjacent Evolution House to the CAE PowerStation environment computer system.
The Temperate House is currently closed for restoration (Q1 2017).