A place of beauty and learning, the
awe-inspiring Eden Project pushed construction technology to new limits.
One of the most ambitious gardens ever conceived, the visionary Eden Project is a showcase for global bio-diversity and man’s relationship with plants.
Built in a disused clay pit near St Austell, Cornwall, two huge biomes create a living theatre of plants and people. Three climatic zones house more than one million plants representing 5,000 species.
The biomes stand on a single 890m long continuous foundation beam which weaves serpent-like around Eden’s greenhouse footprint.
Remodelling of the site, which varies in depth from 30m to 70m, was a huge undertaking. Work included infilling the deeper parts of the quarry, in areas up to the height of a seven-storey building.
In total, 800,000m3 of fill had to be moved and compacted to form the final profile of the pit.
As well as managing and segregating waste on site, we developed a project sustainability plan to minimise the impact of our activities on the local environment, community and wildlife.
A green travel plan encouraged shared transport, minimised the number of deliveries to site and routed project traffic to reduce impact on local roads.
Throughout construction, where practicable, we and our supply chain employed a local workforce and sourced local equipment and materials.
Around 500,000 sightseers went along just to watch the biomes being built even before Eden opened. The project continues to generate substantial economic, education and training benefits for the region.
Working in joint venture, the project’s fully integrated team developed a financially viable initial scheme that attracted the funding required. The original concept of steel structures and glass panels was replaced, with the team working together to develop the geodesic dome structures called biomes.
Since the initial phase, we have completed a series of contracts at the site including The Core Educational Resource Centre and The Eden Institute.
Among a host of honours, The Eden Project won the BCIA Major Project of the Year Award in 2001.
The judges said: “Eden is on a vast scale and is delivered with unswerving and brilliant vision, executed with the best modern design and engineering in Europe – the entire gamut of industry skills, from geotechnics to fit outs, is apparent in this tour de force of design and construction. Eden was against the odds but those involved made it happen – It is brilliant in concept, vision and construction and a major attraction in the South West.”
As part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the British Construction Industry Awards, The Eden Project was selected from the previous Major Project Award winners as Best of the Best Building Project in recognition of its legacy, influence and benefit to the community.
In 2007 Eden was also named Project of the Decade at the Construction News Quality in Construction Awards.