Eden Project - Bodelva, St. Austell, Cornwall

Conceived by Tim Smit - designed by Nicholas Grimshaw
Date Built
Bodelva near St. Austell
The main structures in the Eden Project are a number of interconnected geodesic domes built in an abandoned Kaolin pit.  The domes are made up of a tubular steel frame with a thermoplastic cover  The cladding is composed of several layers of film that have been sealed and inflated to creae a thermal blanket around each dome.  Within the domes pathways and bridges provide access to visitors who wander through tropical and mediterranean biomes.

Rick Stein, the chef and Cornwall resident, writing in the Guardian in 2007, said of the Eden Centre that, "The hexagonal cells of the geodesic domes are each nine metres across, triple glazed in some amazing plastic, recyclable, self-cleaning, anti-static and likely to last for 30 years. At Eden they call it cling film with attitude. 

Inside the rainforest biome it smells of Malaysia, a damp musty tropical smell, it's sensually warm and misty but cheerful with the sound of birdcall, white eyes from Sulawesi, Indonesia backed up by local robins and wrens who somehow managed to get in and probably can't believe their luck. Imagine flying out of a rainy Cornish day in mid-winter through a door into another planet.

Last time I went into the Mediterranean biome it was a sunny early morning and the scent of thyme, rosemary and citrus blossom took me right back to Sicily. In the early days all the plants were a bit small, but now it is mature and the robins seem to be particularly sweet and joyful in there."