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Worthian strikes gold at Chelsea Flower Show

Thu, May 23rd, 2024
Worth School

Award-winning architect and Worthian Je Ahn is celebrating yet again this week having won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for the WaterAid Garden which he co-designed with celebrated landscape designer Tom Massey.

The spectacular garden celebrates water as our most precious resource and addresses the challenges presented by an ever-changing climate, imagining what a UK garden might look like 50 years from now.

Je, who was in Rutherford and left in 2001, said: “I’m so proud that our garden has won a gold medal. This is my first time creating a garden for RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It has been a brilliant collaborative effort and wonderful to watch it coming to life and relate a powerful message. Ultimately, the garden brings a message of hope, showing how resilience and innovation can help us all to adapt and flourish in the face of the climate crisis, and inspiring a new generation to be more water-wise.”

The centrepiece of the garden is a rainwater-harvesting pavilion, made with overlapping weathered steel sheets, that filters and stores water for drinking and irrigation. This was inspired by WaterAid’s work with communities around the world to develop sustainable water solutions. Collecting rain is one of the simplest forms of good quality water supply, but effective storage is often a challenge. WaterAid harnesses a range of simple, affordable rainwater collection methods to bring essential water supplies to households and schools in areas prone to water shortages or water contamination.

His Majesty King Charles, WaterAid’s new Royal Patron, paid a special visit to the garden on Monday as sustainability, global water security and the environment are issues that are close to the King’s heart. He has played a hugely significant role over the past three decades in supporting the charity’s vision of a world where everyone everywhere has clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

After leaving Worth, Je studied Architecture at the Universities of Bath, Delft and London Metropolitan and has gone on to win many major awards for his work with his architectural practice, Studio Weave, which he co-founded in 2007.

Many congratulations to Je and all involved.

Our first photo shows designers Je Ahn (centre) and Tom Massey with WaterAid chief executive Tim Wainwright after The WaterAid Garden was awarded a gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Photo courtesy of Oliver Dixon.

The second photo shows Je behind HRH King Charles (Credit: Daniel Herendi) and the third photo shows the WaterAid Garden (Credit: Water Aid/Alistair Thorpe).

Worth likes to keep in touch with former students and regularly runs stories about their progress.

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