The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size; Photo courtesy Eden Prioject
Photo courtesy Eden Prioject

100 Buildings 100 Years

2001: Eden Project, Cornwall

Architect: Nicholas Grimshaw
Location: Bodelva, St Blazey, Cornwall

‘The Eden Project’s iconic biomes, the world’s largest conservatories, are a symbol of a living theatre of plants and people, of regeneration and of a pioneering forum for the exploration of possible futures’ wrote Tim Smit, originator of the project. His eco-vision was realised by Nicholas Grimshaw and engineers Anthony Hunt and Associates with Arups as the services engineers. Since 2001 it has attracted over 13 million visitors to view the thousands of plant species housed in the domes.

The basis for the geodesic biome domes came from the work of the American engineer J. Baldwin, a pupil of Buckminster Fuller, who developed a system of ‘pillow domes’. These were constructed from tubular steel with hexagonal translucent cladding panels made from TPE thermoplastic film and erected by MERO for McAlpine, the main contractors. As part of Eden’s policy of providing environmental education, the Core has recently been built to meet their requirements for exhibitions and teaching.

by Bob Hardcastle

Grimshaw Architects project page

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