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Eden Project

The design story

Tim Smit wanted to create a building that would be a world-class centre for education and scientific research into environmental issues. The Eden Projects mission is: To promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources, leading to a sustainable future for all.

To achieve this, he put together a team that included architects, construction companies, leading horticulturists, marketing specialists, educators, media specialists, scientists, trustees and the Millennium Commission.

Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners were appointed as architects. They analysed the site to determine the best positions and sizes for the greenhouses. Their first ideas were sketched on a napkin (see below), although things rapidly became much more sophisticated!

Initital sketches on a napkin

State-of-the-art computer simulations were used to model the path of the sun throughout the year, to identify the best hot spots for the greenhouses.

From this starting point, the architects went on to draw up plans for a visitor centre and a series of visually stunning biomes geodesic domes that are three-dimensional space frames made out of hexagons and pentagons.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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