Saturday, 12 January 2008

Eden Project

The Eden Project is a large-scale environmental complex in Cornwall, UK. The project is located in a reclaimed china clay pit, located 1.25 miles (2 km) from the town of St Blazey and 3 miles (5 km) from the larger town of St Austell.

The complex comprises a number of domes that house plant species from around the world, with each emulating a natural biome. The domes are made out of hundreds of hexagons plus a few pentagons that interconnect the whole construction together; each of these is a transparent cushion made of tough plastic. The first dome emulates a tropical environment, the second a warm temperate, Mediterranean environment.

The project was conceived by Tim Smit and designed by the architect Nicholas Grimshaw, the project took 2½ years to construct and opened to the public on 17 March 2001.

At the bottom of the pit are two covered biomes:

  • The Humid Tropics Biome, which is the largest greenhouse in the world, covers 1.559 hectares (3.9 acres) and measures 180 feet (55 m) high, 328 feet (100 m) wide and 656 feet (200 m) long. It is used for tropical plants, such as fruiting banana trees, coffee, rubber and giant bamboo, and is kept at a tropical temperature.

  • The Warm Temperate Biome covers 0.654 hectares (1.6 acres) and measures 115 feet (35 m) high, 213 feet (65 m) wide and 443 feet (135 m) long. It houses familiar warm temperate and arid plants such as olives and grape vines and various pieces of sculpture. The Outdoor Biome represents the temperate regions of the world with plants such as tea, lavender, hops and hemp.

Comments: For visitors to the Canna Trials 2008, this spectacular attraction is close to the Lost gardens of Helligan, and combined with a visit to 3-4 exotic nurseries could provide a pleasant excusion away from London.

References: See Wikipedia 'Eden Project'

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