Eden Project on behalf of Tim Smit. Biomes formed of hexagonal plastic cells with steel framing emulate environments. Each dome has a self-contained environment from some area of the world. The project opened in 2001 to the public with an undisclosed budget. The cost is certainly prohibitive to a practically sustainable greenhouse-like building, but the tourism generated from this attraction provides a flow of income.
Grimshaw completed the visitor's center "Core" in 2005. The plant-growth phyllotaxis form was the basis for the copper roof shapes. The pineapple roof shoots outward to provide light scoops for daylighting. Electricity-generating solar panels swirl into a circular courtyard. This arrangement is very impractical for catching sunlight, again revealing that the entire project is for show and entertainment, not for a practical method of sustainability. Will the panels make up for the £260,000 paid to install them? Not likely.
The spacelike image of greenhouse domes in a lush garden countryside gives an opportunity for inspiration and artwork. Sculptures and flower gardens surround the domes. The idealic setting may be cost prohibitive for anything other than a entertainment park, but it is still an image for what our buildings can strive for.
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