The project is located in a reclaimed Kaolinite pit (clay China), located 2km from the town of St Blazey and 5km from the larger town of St Austell, Cornwall.The project took 2.5 years to construct and opened to the public in 2001. By Project Eden’s 10th birthday they had welcomed almost 13 million visitors since fully opening on March 17, 2001.
The project was conceived by Tim Smit and designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw
The complex is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species. Each enclosure emulates a natural biome. The first dome emulates a tropical environment, and the second a Mediterranean environment. The attraction also has an outside bontanical garden which is home to many plants and wildlife native to Cornwall and the UK in general.
The Tropical Biome, covers 1.56 hectares and measures 55 metres high, 100 metres wide and 200 metres long. It is used for tropical plants, such as fruiting banana trees, coffee, rubber and giant bamboo, and is kept at a tropical temperature and moisture level.
The Mediterranean Biome covers 0.654 hectares and measures 35 metres high, 65 metres wide and 135 metres long. It houses familiar warm temperate and arid plants such as olives and grape vines and various sculptures.
The Outdoor Biome (which is not covered) represents the temperate regions of the world with plants such as tea, lavender, hops, hemp and sunflowers.
The covered biomes are constructed from a tubular steel (hex-tri-hex) with mostly hexagonal external cladding panels made from the thermoplastic ETFE. Glass was avoided due to its weight and potential dangers. The cladding panels themselves are created from several layers of thin UV-transparent ETFE film, which are sealed around their perimeter and inflated to create a large cushion. The resulting cushion acts as a thermal blanket to the structure.
The ETFE material is resistant to most stains, which simply wash off in the rain. Although the ETFE is susceptible to punctures, these can be easily fixed with ETFE tape. The structure is completely self-supporting, with no internal supports, and takes the form of a geodesic structure. The panels vary in size up to 9 metres across, with the largest at the top of the structure.
In December of 2010, Project Eden received the green light for a geothermal plant. Eden received planning permission to build a geothermal power plant at Eden in collaboration with EGS Energy. Taking renewable energy from deep inside the Cornish granite, the plan is to heat the Biomes and feed electricity into the national grid. It’s part of their target to slash Eden’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2020.
According to en.wikipedia