The original construction project The Commonwealth Institute building was built between 1960 and 1962 and officially opened on 6 November 1962 by HM the Queen. It was designed by architects Robert Matthew, Johnson - Marshall and Partners (project architect Roger Cunliffe) with engineering contribution by A.J & J.D Harris (project engineer James Sutherland) and based on the theme of a ‘tent in the park’.
Between 1960 and 1962 works were also undertaken on the design of the surrounding landscape, comprising a garden and hard landscaped area to the south, west and east of the building.
In the 1970’s a number of works were undertaken to the building and landscaped area. These included additional car parking and an extension to the building replacing a wooded area that was part of a landscaped garden.
In 1988 the building was listed as Grade II* and the landscaped garden was included on the National Register of Park and Gardens of special interest as Grade II.