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The Eden Project in Cornwall, United Kingdom by Grimshaw

Project name:
The Eden Project
Architecture firm:
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Hufton + Crow
Principal architect:
Nicholas Grimshaw
Design team:
Built area:
Site area:
23,000 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Land Use Consultants
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Anthony Hunt Associates
Environmental & MEP:
Arup, BDSP Partnership
Cladding: Arup Facade Engineering
Tools used:
Eden Project Limited
Arts Culture and Exhibition Halls

Grimshaw: The Eden Project endeavours to recognise our country’s heritage of plant exploration while simultaneously looking to the future. This has been successfully achieved through the transformation of a place of relative anonymity into an impressive multi-functional site with visitor experience at its core.

One of the primary environmental strengths of The Eden Project is to consider what it replaces. Previously, the site was a china clay pit and was still being excavated during the design phase. The strategy of replacing an almost uninhabitable clay pit with a new natural habitat is perhaps in principle the biggest environmental success of the Eden Project. Situated in a 15 ha landscaped site, it is an example of successful place-making.

The Eden Project has created its own unique culture comprising performance, educational and artistic spaces that extend far beyond the site itself. The Project currently employs around 600 permanent staff, 95% of whom were recruited locally and 75% of whom were previously unemployed.

The project has four completed phases to date. The fifth phase, The Edge, has its roots in the original ambition to have a biome that focuses on the desert regions of the world.

In its original iteration, Eden was proposed as a single interconnected structure situated around the edge of the clay


image © Hufton + Crow

Today the entire site has been transformed from its original brownfield status into an extremely verdant collection of flowers, plants and fruits unparalleled in the UK. The landscaping extends well beyond the ‘greenhouse’ biomes, making the entire site a lush garden in its own right.

Since opening in 2001 the Eden Project has attracted over 13 million visitors, while also contributing over £1 billion to the Cornish economy.


Connect with the Grimshaw

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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