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Ariel View on the Biomes

View from inside the Biomes

The Eden Biomes

View from inside the Biomes

Warm Temperate Biome

 

The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK


The Biomes of the Eden Project have transformed a disused china clay pit in Cornwall into one of England’s leading tourist attractions, both for the contents it houses and for the structure itself. Built as the main feature of the Eden Project’s ‘living theatre’, the two giant biome structures house plants from all over the world in a fully controlled environment.

Built as two separate enclosures, the larger Humid Tropics Biome contains plants from rainforests and tropical regions of the world, whilst the smaller Warm Temperate Biome houses plants from the Mediterranean and South African regions.

At 55m high, 240m long and 110m wide, the Humid Tropics biome is large enough to accommodate fully matured rainforest trees, and it does all this with no internal supports due to it’s hex-tri-hex spaceframe structure and geodesic dome geometry. The smaller of the two biomes, the warm temperate biome still measures an impressive 35m high. The two biomes cover a plan area of just over 22,000m, with a surface area of just under 30,000m, whilst the complete galvanised steel structure weighs 667 tonnes – only 131 tonnes more than the weight of the air enclosed by them.

To keep the steelwork to a minimum and hence maximise the light transmitted into the conservatories, specialist cladding was required. Cushions constructed of multiple layers of ETFE provide a very light yet very strong cladding material with high insulation, light and UV transmission properties. The hexagonal and pentagonal shaped panels vary in size, with the largest being almost 11m across from point to point.

During construction the spaceframe was constructed by both abseilers, and from a birdcage scaffold that secured two world records – one for the highest free standing scaffold at 58.5m, and one for the largest at 195,600m.

[Download this project as a PDF document] 

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Project Title:
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The Eden Project, Cornwall
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_ Scope of Works: Structure and Cladding to the two horticultural biomes
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_ Cladding Details:

29,540m multiple layer EthylTetraFluorEthylene (ETFE) cushions. Foil thickness 0.05-0.2mm, constantly pressurised at 300Pa
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_ Steelwork Details: 667 tonnes galvanised steel spaceframe in Hex-Tri-Hex configuration with interlocking geodesic dome geometry. 2525 nodes and 7545 tubes with a total length of over 36km.
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_ Year of Completion: 2000
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_ Contract Duration: 18 months
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_ Design Input: Concept design (jointly with Nicholas Grimshaw and Anthony Hunt Associates), structural design and fabrication details
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_ Client: The Eden Project
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M_ERO UK Architect: Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners
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_ Main Contractor: McAlpine Joint Venture
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